In the middle of dinner

Chris Abani

· Poem of the day,Love,Loss

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.

—Chris Abani (Hands washing water)

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