Ring cycleWhen I first started rummaging
it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a poem.
I am sitting on the floor
sifting through a black bin bag
containing a schmorgas board of unpleasant things
and varieties of slime;
the detritus from a vacuum cleaner,
paint sodden rags and masking tape,
chicken curry from a couple of nights ago
(that somehow failed to make it into food waste),
and other things.
Each item has to be examined in detail
until there can be unequivocal verification
that it does not conceal
a seventy-year-old engagement ring
that has somehow disappeared from my Jenny’s slender finger
and that her nanny had worn for fifty years before passing it on,
hand to hand.
The various kinds of waste product in which our family are implicated
have been forming composites while sitting in the bag;
Some of nappies that we wrap into bundles
have split open again
so that it is hard to tell
where the baby emptying her bottom finishes
and the curry, or paint, or carpet dust and hair begins.
I fondle each item delicately,
looking for signs of round metal that will not bend,
until I have satisfied myself that there is nothing hidden in it,
nothing that could be being mistaken for something less precious.
That is always the poet’s quest:
to find that hidden jewel of insight
that lies buried in a sack of congealed slime.
The ring turns up later, deep inside the finger of a glove
that had already been checked twice.
Poetry by Andrew Bindon
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Written on 2016-02-08 at 16:56
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