Wedding Rings You’ve Lost Along the Way
(not your real mother's
but she took you to raise)
sleeps like ashes in a box,
etching smoothed to a sigh
over years of turning it 'round
holding the stone in her palm
through every Sunday service.
cut away in a sterile room
from a swollen, bloodless finger,
a day after you disclosed the affair.
Stray fist against the stone walls of
a home in a storm, slowly melted,
never realizing what was broken,
No way to save it, they said;
now he wears it as a groove,
bone raised around empty space.
Then it was your own
stolen by a whisper of current,
surfacing from the Gulf waters.
You renewed your vows there:
a beach outside Pensacola,
salt in your hair & a sting on your lips.
Eighteen years, give or take a separation.
remarried to an ocean.