In the middle of dinner
my mother put down her knife and fork,
pulled her wedding ring from its groove,
placing it contemplatively on her middle
finger. So natural was the move,
so tender, I almost didn’t notice.
Five years, she said, five years, once a week,
I wrote a letter to your father. And waited
until time was like ash on my tongue.
Not one letter back, not a single note.
She sighed, smiling, the weight gone. This
prime rib is really tender, isn’t it? she asked.