November 13, 2008
By Maggie Cregan, Mayfield Village, OH

The ring lays forgotten on an old park bench.
No one thought to grab it when she ran away and he ran after;
It twinkles prettily in the lamplight, its old-fashioned splendor
Oddly in synch with the chipping paint and the dulled, brittle leaves
That lay in piles on the cracked gray sidewalk.
By the time he comes back looking,
Bluish bags beneath his eyes, a new heaviness to his step,
The ring will be gone.
Of course, he will have expected nothing else.
Though he did expect something else when the bell to the jewelry shop rang,
Pealing like wedding bells as he entered;
He did expect something else when she crossed the threshold of the restaurant,
Looking stunning,
Wearing the high heels he knew she hated so.
But he won’t have expected the ring to be waiting for him,
There on the unpleasant park bench.
Will not have expected the ring,
So priceless in its delicate details and fine silver band,
To keep company with the squirrels and pigeons for long.
The ring was destined for far greater things;
Far greater things, it seems, than his humble love.
That ring could twinkle on a Duchess’s finger,
Or shine from a movie star’s dresser.
The ring was made for higher circles
Than an ordinary boy, madly in love.
And so all he will be able to do
Is remember its subtle sparkle
In those first few moments of its grand debut;
Try to memorize the look in her eyes
When she used to laugh until the tears flowed.
And sit there on the park bench that was once the setting for what was once his future,
And look at the snowflakes that fall in front of him-
Little crystals that shimmer subtly in the blue-white light,
The same color that her eyes once shone.

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