Claire O’Shaughnessy

It happened when my back was turned

I was one hundred girls in white
Brazen blizzard of May snowflakes
Flurrying and flying and fleeting
Tippity-tapping patent leather toes on gray stone

(There must have been boys in black, but it’s only us angels I remember)

My own dress, a star
Twinkling recklessly
Stealing light from the sun
Blanching calico rays to bright, white beams

She faltered on the altar
Down two solemn stairs
I wasn’t looking when she slipped
But I felt it when she fell

I blinked and was beside her
Knees dipped in deep red
She, the green ghost
Fried egg splat on the floor

Gentle wrinkles met like rivers
Cornering doll-eyes flapped shut

Someone said “Doctor!”
Cousin lifts me to standing
Flake back to flurry
Still in tiny lace gloves and tappy patent shoes

Look down, slow
Crimson continent on once-snowy satin
I wasn’t sad about the dress

Claire O’Shaughnessy is a second year majoring in Voice & Opera in Bienen and Journalism in Medill. Her hometown is Columbus, Ohio, a place she defends and treasures fiercely. If at any given moment she isn’t listening to music, she’s probably making it. She wants to spend her life telling stories.