One Ring to Rule Them All
by Devon Balwit

Like the queens of old with their signets,
I bear mine, encrusted silver, heavy.

I’ve worn it thirty years since bartering
for it from an Ecuadorean street vendor.

I didn’t get a good price, but to me, it’s
magic, a talisman of knobs and swirls.

Once, taking my daughter to overnight
camp, it fell off in her shoe, and I despaired.

I thought it gone forever as I scoured the
parking lot, the woods, the paths.

She’d kept it safe for me the whole week,
knowing its power. It grounds me as I teach,

let’s me await my students’ answers without
pacing. It’s seen me through asking for raises,

talking to the in-laws, meeting my daughters’
boyfriends’ parents. The mojo never dissipates.

I want to be buried in it like a queen of old
surrounded by all, that for her, was hard won.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Every morning before I teach ESL to adults, and every afternoon/evening after work and walking my goofy yellow lab, I write. It is my greatest joy. I draw my inspiration from the events of the day, from prompts, from the news. I like to explore new forms and play with language.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me standing in front of my birthday dumpster. The ring is on my reaching hand. You can see it if you look closely!