Kitchen Table MFA (Madwomen): Rings

This poem is part of the Kitchen Table MFA, a series that showcases writing communities through interviews and creative writing.

The rings I wear now are not the rings I promised with. 

My first ring with my husband: thin band, rose-cut diamond, 

his great-aunt’s solitaire, stone slightly loose, 

mauve jewelry box snuck from a drawer, a little tarnished.

The second, a 10k band shipped from Ireland, 

sterling silver for him, Newgrange spirals around it, 

edges not quite meeting in the center, 

blessed by our Episcopalian officiant and my Buddhist father.

Sterling silver was the third, to replace the engagement ring, 

too delicate for my rough hands, a sturdy band 

with a 9k dot on top and words stamped on the side: 

you, me, being, what he said in our wedding bed 

when I asked what was important.

Fourth, a sterling Newgrange ring, 

shipped from the U.S. this time, 

when my fingers grew too fat for my gold one, 

now in a box on my dresser. Fifth was a white opal band to match,

rainbows catching in the light when I wash my hands.

These are not the rings I promised with, but they are the ones I chose. 

This is how my promise changed, 

from something delicate and fine to something hard and sturdy,

the way a hammer gets stronger the more it is struck, 

ready for anything as long as there is 

someone to hold it fast and use it well.

Read Nancy Reddy’s interview with Madwomen here. Read the other members’ work from Madwomen here and here.

Sarah Williams-Devereux

Sarah Williams-Devereux’s poetry has appeared/is forthcoming in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & HealingSampsonia Way Magazine, and Pittsburgh City Paper; in the anthologies Show Us Your PapersIs it Hot in Here or is it Just Me?Nasty Women & Bad Hombres, and Pittsburgh Love Stories; and on WESA-FM’s Prosody. She teaches poetry for the Madwomen in the Attic program at Carlow University and is the managing editor for their annual anthology, Voices from the Attic. Certified in writing group leadership from Amherst Writers & Artists, she is pursuing an MA in teaching writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Tomislav Jakupec

Image by Tomislav Jakupec from Pixabay