An Offering

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When a creature dies ... the fleshand soft parts of the body rot quickly.All that is left are the bones and teeth. (textbook entry on 'fossils')

Sometimes. You, mother,dying, left what was hard first:bones weeping into

your veins like flutes, teethvanished on some hospitallunch tray. In your last

mute days you partedwith one more hard thing: the goldring I was to save

for my child. As yourhand offered that bright circle(only seen as a

whole now, when empty)did your thoughts reach, like mine, foryour first wedding ring?

You took that one offwhen I was seven or eightand sent it spinning

from a car window.I can still feel the wet bladesof grass slipping through

my fingers, night dewcoming on, you and fatherloud in the parked car.

I searched there as iflife spilled from a ring that laysomewhere out of sight

but within reach, hidwhere only the crickets knew.I took the scraping

of their mating callsfor crying, as if they sharedloss -- my childish heart

consoled by a soft'as if.' The consolationcarries on: their song

(light as air, softerthan voices) plays through my thoughtsabout that evening

and fills the lost ring'shollow with life's most lastingpart, cries for new love.

© Reibetanz John