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Lessons on Wealth
by Esther Rohm

My mother warned of wearing diamonds publicly
downtown, in neighborhoods that smelled like need,
unrest. If caught with this criminal wealth, though,
hand it over when it’s asked for. Survival’s worth more.

Hypothetical advice pulled from my pocket
to smooth the creases and place with keepsakes. Diamonds
were cold, I wanted more from life. Parting was a mutual
decision. Since then, they’ve run with different women.

The ring that warms my finger now, disguised
in discount store gold plating, won’t incite
a robber’s lust. Worth less than fifty dollars,
worth more than all the cheap diamonds before.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My discount store wedding band (Huber Heights, Ohio, 2014).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: After some relationship misadventures, I met my very favorite person and married him. We looked at many expensive wedding rings, but the one I fell in love with was unassuming and functional, its clean design rich in meaning to us.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Rohm is fascinated by human beings. She writes poetry, fiction, and fantasy while undercover as an office worker. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she was kidnapped by mischievous sprites and deposited in Ohio, where she continues to live. Her work has appeared in Dime Show Review and Silver Birch Press, and she is one of 35 authors featured in A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016).