I didn’t want to stand there

in my tux and bowtie

with Dad and Sue

under the big oak tree.


I didn’t want to see Mom

in the very last row

of blue folding chairs.

Her cheeks wet.

Her eyes red.


I wanted to run –

back down the aisle

past all the smiling faces.


Climb the wooden fence

and just keep going.


Instead I stared up

at the little white lights

around the wide oak branches

and counted how many were burnt out.




Samantha Serles lives and writes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.