this photo wasn’t planned:
we’re just here
for my son’s annual
picture to be mailed
with Christmas cards
he’s three now
wearing a rainbow patchwork shirt
hugging Big Bird
Jennie my bestfriend
in blue-flowered top
sitting in her electric
I’m in raggedy
faded t-shirt
never expecting
“Hey, why don’t I take the three of you?”
my arms encircle
my son and my friend
my curly-haired son’s smile
beams trust
Jennie looks ready to laugh
and I’m grinning innocent
Jennie would die in four years
I’d lose my father and another friend
but in this moment
I have the world

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

Diane O’Neill is Chicago writer with degrees from Columbia College and National University. Her works have appeared in publications such as the Weekly, Solstice Literary Magazine’s blog, the Journal of Modern Poetry, the Tribune, and It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Her poem “Nighthawks” won third prize in the “Chicago: The Arts” category of the 2017 Poets and Patrons Chicagoland Poetry contest.

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