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My Mother's Ring
by
Dave Margoshes


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The bee kissed my mother’s finger
just above her wedding band
and it was either the ring or the finger,
my father said later, so they chose
to save her finger, his hacksaw kissing
the white gold band just below where
the bee had perched, confused, my father
said, by my mother’s sweetness.
The buzz of the bee, the rasp of the saw,
it all raised a horrible racket
in my mother’s ears, but she couldn’t lift
her hands to cover them. “Hold your hand
still, Bertie,” my father said, intent
over the rise and fall of the blade, the flesh
on either side of the constricting band
white as a boil, the rest of the finger red
as a sausage. Afterwards, one half of the ring
was kept in my mother’s jewelry box, its story
taking the place of the other half, which was
mysteriously lost.
There was no explanation
for what had become of it or how my father
was able to cut the ring without injuring
my mother’s finger, or how either of them
had felt, my father on his knees in a caricature
of proposal as he ravaged the ring he had worked
so hard to get her, my mother frantic with pain
and fright, or so I imagine. Sometimes she
would take that broken arc of gold from its box
and hold it in her warm hand and we children
would beg for the story. If my father was
around, he would make a joke: "It was either
the ring or the finger, the ring or the wife,
and we could always get another ring,"
but for the rest of her life my mother wore
no ring and she never would say if
they’d made the right choice.
 
© by Dave Marghoshes.
Used with the author’s permission.
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Dave Margoshes is a Saskatchewan writer whose stories and poems have appeared widely in Canadian literary magazines and anthologies. He’s published over a dozen books, including five collections of poetry – the most recent, Dimensions of an Orchard, won the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Prize at the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards. Dave has taught creative writing and led workshops at various locations and for various age groups, and been writer in residence a number of times, including year-long stints in Saskatoon and Winnipeg. He was on the board of the League of Canadian Poets for several years, serving twice as its vice president. Why write poems? Says Dave, "I love that quote from Emily Dickinson that a good poem will blow the back of your head off. It’s happened to me numerous times reading poems, and a few times writing them. Blood and gore aside, it’s a great feeling – the ultimate high."


Post New Comment:
Robert Currie:
Congratulations on a fine poem, Dave. It was great to read some more about that marvellous couple I met in A BOOK OF GREAT WORTH.
Posted 02/11/2013 07:41 PM
Sharon Urdahl:
Love this poem...the last three lines leaving much to ponder...
Posted 02/11/2013 02:56 PM
mimi:
sweet and tender,with a surprise ending...very nice
Posted 02/11/2013 01:27 PM
jheron:
Thank you, Dave...this is a story poem that makes me glad to be human...and dare I say, Canadian! Here's to simple truths kindly told.
Posted 02/11/2013 01:25 PM
wendy morton:
The golden arc of gold. All our memories. Lovely
Posted 02/11/2013 11:48 AM
Glen Sorestad:
Very nicely done, Dave.
Posted 02/11/2013 07:43 AM
gigi:
What a tender and beautifully crafted narrative.
Posted 02/11/2013 05:53 AM
erinsnana:
What a delightful story!
Posted 02/11/2013 05:16 AM
Katrina:
Praise bee to love.
Posted 02/11/2013 05:06 AM


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