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Mama’s Ring We Thought
Lost—Stolen—Then Found
by Vince Gotera

—a terza rima haiku sonnet

The front door was wide
open when we got home from
work that Friday night.

For five weeks, someone
sly had been cat-burglaring
the neighborhood. And

now it was our turn.
TV, stereo, what else?
“How ’bout your mom’s ring?”

Ivon said. Burst drawers
in our bedroom were a mess,
but the ring was there

still, wrapped in old Kleenexes,
saved for Marty’s future Grace.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My mom and dad—Mama and Papa—in 1973, three or four years before the events in the poem. The baby is my son Marty who is mentioned in the poem; he is now age 44.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My mom was notorious in our family for wrapping valuables in facial tissues. When the apartment where my first wife Ivon and I lived with our preschool son Marty was broken into we thought surely the robbers had stolen, along with the TV and the stereo, my mom’s wedding ring, which she’d left to our son for his future marriage when she passed away the year before. Well, Mama had foiled the thieves, who probably thought the Kleenexes in the dresser drawer were only Kleenexes. If she’d used a ring box, Marty would not have had a family heirloom ring to give his bride Grace. Good for you, Mama!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vince Gotera is a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Editor of the North American Review. Poetry and photography recently appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Parody Poetry Journal, and Stone Canoe. His poem “Blue Bravura” was translated into Spanish and Romanian in Your Father Is Bald by Eileen Tabios. Two of Vince’s poems were recently nominated for a Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Blog: The Man with the Blue Guitar.