Archives for posts with tag: jewelry

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More Rare Than Rubies
by Gail Tirone

Age 16, it was my first time
in a vault — cold and dark
with a splash of James Bond

My grandmother, a proud New Yorker
shoulders thrown back, head held high
in her black-and-white tweed suit
and confident stride
showed me the ropes

She’d decided my 16th birthday gift
would be a ring
a beautiful ring for a beautiful girl
she recited it like a nursery rhyme
trying hard to convince me
that I was

In the small locked room
we sat on miniature stools
and from the long metal box
she carefully extracted jewels
unveiling a parade of rings
on the black velvet shelf
— a lustrous white bud of pearl
— a gold circle flecked with diamond chips
— a small amethyst set in silver

I considered my options
— all nice, but none that I wanted
I hesitated

Choose, she encouraged
she smiled
They’re all lovely —
which do you like best?

This woman who grew up poor
a Lower East Side Cinderella
locked alone in a tenement
where she sat on the floor
and played with mice
instead of toys

Well, the one I really like…
is this one, I said
pointing to the emerald
on her hand
a frozen pool of Titian greens
poised in an elegant filigree setting
as if spun on a loom of platinum lace

Her emerald had power
granting its bearer
the worldliness and sophistication
I yearned for

She gave me a long look and
without hesitation
pulled the emerald ring
off her finger
and placed it on mine

A fairy godmother
in herringbone tweed
she dispensed joy
and bestowed confidence
gifting emeralds with glee.

IMAGE: Watercolor rainbow gemstone paintings by Elle Aiche. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I hope anyone who had a grandparent (or friend or family member) who offered them nurture and encouragement will connect with the experience in this poem.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gail Tirone is originally from New York and now lives in Houston, Texas. She’s a Best of the Net nominee and a finalist for the Red Mountain Poetry Prize, 2020. She has a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. in English from the University of Houston. Her poetry has appeared in Hawaii Pacific Review, The Hong Kong Review, Mediterranean Poetry, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, The Weight of Addition Anthology, and elsewhere. Read her interview on Writing about Place in The Hong Kong Review. 


Finders Keepers
by Erin K. Parker

I found the ring on the ground next to the entrance to the miniature golf course. Gasping in surprise, I bent down to pick it up, and held it up to my dad. He took it between his fingers and smiled.

“It’s pretty!” he said, and handed it back to me.

The ring was silver and had a knot etched on the top. I slipped it on to my first finger, and it fit perfectly. I’d never had a ring before.

“Well, look at that!” my dad said. “It’s your lucky day.”

“Aren’t we supposed to turn it in?” I reluctantly asked, already feeling the loss.

“No, why would you do that? Finders, keepers,” he said, winking.

I kept the ring on all day while we shot bright golf balls through windmills and over small bridges. The sun was bright and we were smiling. When I picked up my yellow golf ball, the ring clacked against the hard plastic. I stood up straighter, laughed louder, and felt special. I had a new ring.

Later, I pushed the thoughts of the girl who had lost the ring out of my head, and told anyone who would listen that my dad gave me the ring as a present. Not for my birthday or anything, but just because he saw it and knew I would like it. Because he loved me and wanted me to have something pretty.

I told the story so often that I started to believe it.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: A ring that looks like the one I found that day.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: At some point I started to hate that ring and I stopped wearing it. The guilt of not turning it in caught up to me, and it became a constant reminder of my dad’s emotional distance. I am not sure what happened to it, but I no longer have it. I’d like to think someone else found it and it brought them joy.

PHOTO: The author at age nine.

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Erin K. Parker
won her first Creative Writing contest when she was 11, and has been writing ever since. Her work has been published by Uno Kudo, Red Fez, Drunk Monkeys, Cadence Collective, Lost in Thought, Timid Pirate Publishing, The Altar Collective, Santa Fe Lit Review, Lucid Moose Lit, and the Alice in Wonderland Anthology from Silver Birch Press. Erin was nominated for Best of the Net 2014. Her collection of short stories, The Secret and the Sacred, was published by Unknown Press and is available at

The Gold Amulet
by Pallabi Roy

It was not just a pricey yellow metal
that still berates my soul
for not holding on to it.
It was rather to me an empyrean that housed
an angel sent by you, Ma,
to ward off all the evils around me.

I deplore losing it,
not for its elegant and antique design,
but your prayers etched on its surface,
not for the sparkles and glitters,
but your blessings shining through it.
I could not treasure it, Ma!
When it hanged around my neck
like a buckler in a war.

Ma, it was a legacy of love
bequeathed to you by Grandma
that you had hoped to live on.
But it could not cling to my heart
like I always did to its.

That gold amulet
broke up with me,
and taught me a lesson.
Losing is not about ruing when it is gone,
it is about cherishing when it is our own.

IMAGE: “Public Pool for Daytime Swimming” by Joyce Kozloff (1984).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The subject of the poem is a gold amulet, passed on from many generations of my mother’s family. I lost it during an aquatic meet in my college days. When it was with me, I considered it just a piece of jewelry. Only after losing the amulet did I realize how much I should have valued it to keep the good luck flowing in.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Based in New Delhi, India, Pallabi Roy is a technical communicator by profession and a creative writer by passion. She has penned numerous flash fictions and poems in English and Assamese, and her work has appeared in The Assam Tribune, Prantik, The Sentinel, and other publications. When she veers from her writing schedule, she is either traveling through water (a former competitive swimmer!) or trekking through some hills in North India.

PHOTO: The author during a recent trekking trip to Ooty, Tamil Nadu.

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Two Rings
by Kathleen Naureckas

I almost lost my engagement ring in
the big bowl of candy I had filled
for trick-or-treaters one Halloween.
I’d recently dropped a lot of weight;
I thought about having the ring resized
but didn’t, even after I almost
lost it in the candy bowl. I didn’t
lose it then because I saw it fall and
rescued it. Then I lost it, really lost
it, somewhere in the house where I
no longer live. I thought I lost it in
the bedroom, and that’s where I spent
the most time looking for it. I hoped it
would turn up under the bed or dresser
when I moved, but it remained lost,
unless the new owners found it.

I lost my engagement ring, although I
never lost the wedding ring I wore on
the same finger. To keep it company
I got a new diamond ring, another
solitaire. I chose it by myself, but
my husband went with me to pick it up
after it was sized. We used his credit
card to pay the balance so it would seem
more like a real engagement ring. He didn’t
drop to one knee to give it to me, though.
He was using a wheelchair by then.

The first ring had a third-of-a-carat
diamond, but the jeweler my husband-
to-be bought it from told him it was
almost flawless. The new diamond was not
much bigger—barely half a carat—and
no one said anything about flaws.

By the time I moved to the house where I
live now, my husband was dead. I offered
the ring to my granddaughter when she
became engaged. She and her fiancé
had it reset, surrounding the lone original
stone with other, smaller ones. Her ring
looks nothing like either one of mine.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My granddaughter Caitlin showing off her ring (not the granddaughter in the poem).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem was inspired by the LOST & FOUND call for submissions.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen Naureckas is a retired journalist whose poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Bluestem, Light, Measure, and Willow Review. Her poem “Pie Crust” appeared in the Silver Birch Press “My Sweet Word” Series. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, For the Duration, in 2012. Visit her chapbook’s Facebook page.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My husband, Ed Naureckas, and me in the house where we lived at the time I lost the engagement ring.

My Stupid Lost Necklace
by Susan W. Goldstein

I lose things. Quite often. I have this terrible habit of throwing possessions into any old drawer that I pass by. It drives my husband crazy, because nothing is ever in the same place twice. And it can be extremely annoying. For example, I knew that I had been holding the car keys before breakfast: how could they be missing now, a mere 20 minutes later? This adds a degree of stress to my life that I really fail to enjoy. I become obsessed, a crazy woman tearing the house apart until I remember that I had stuffed the keys into my pocket. But let’s not dwell on that.

The following items are currently Missing in Action: a pearl and Austrian crystal necklace; a favorite blouse; a special photo of my sons. This really bothers me. I would say that the house is inhabited by a playful poltergeist, but we have moved at least three times while these items remained missing. Unless ghosts move with you?

I had a special event and wanted to wear the necklace, mentioned above. I was determined to find it, so I upended my jewelry box; I emptied my underwear drawer (like I said: I put things in the strangest places); I inspected the house inch by inch. I could not find it anywhere. Finally, I had no choice but to drive to the mall to find a replacement. I reached into my glove compartment for my GPS and . . . in a flash, remembered that three years ago, I had taken the necklace and thrown it in said glove compartment because it was too heavy on my neck. And there it was, a tangled jumble just waiting to be found! My stupid necklace.

IMAGE: “Jeanne Hebuterne with Necklace” by Amedeo Modigliani (1917).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The words “lost” and “found” conjure up my peripatetic set of car keys, which I am constantly misplacing. My husband has gotten used to my hysterical outbursts when yet another prized possession goes missing. And then he is the recipient of the requisite apology for my bad behavior, after the prized possession is found. I know, I know: I should follow his advice and put things back where I found them. But that is just too easy.


Susan W. Goldstein
 has relocated over 15 times in her lifetime; it is False News that she is in the Witness Protection Program. She has, however, found paradise in Delray Beach, Florida, with her husband and his dog (when said dog pukes on the carpet) and her dog (when said dog is being cute). She was first published in Silver Birch Press (!!!), followed by Mothers Always Write, Mamalode, JustBe Parenting, Lunch Ticket and, soon, Parent Co. Follow her blog at

What I Found When I Lost My Earring
By Joan Leotta

Settling into my window seat
after running to catch my connection,
at Atlanta-Hartsfield,
I reached up remove my earrings.
Left ear’s shiny metal clip-on daisy
easily slid into my hand.
Reaching for its twin, however
my fingers found a bare lobe.
Immediately I realized the
probable moment of loss–
when I hastily slung the
wide-strapped bag at my feet,
hard over my shoulder as
I ran for that connecting gate.
Likely the strap brushed my
floral clip-on off
away from the garden of my ear.
I fretted over the loss on the flight,
upset in disproportion to that
daisy’s dollar cost.
While at my destination.
a recurring dream roiled
my sleep, bringing up a memory
—how, against advice
I had foolishly worn and lost,
my mom’s aquamarine ring,
that her father had made for
her upon her graduation.
In the dream, once again
she said it was “all right.”
But I could still see
and sense her sadness
in across the plain of death in my dream.
Was this why I now mourned
loss of a shiny metal clip-on, a
thrift shop bauble bought for a dollar?
Determined to find redemption at
Least from this loss, on my way home
I stopped at the Delta Lost and Found.
I described my lost item
to the blue uniformed- woman.
She checked her list .
“No , no one turned it in.”
I sighed and said.
“Guess I should know
better than to wear something I like
when traveling.”
She reached over the counter,
clasped my hand.
“Remember this,
things are just things
If you like something wear it;
enjoy it while you have it.
Do not blame yourself
for what you cannot control.
Things are made to be used.”
That very night
I dreamt again of my mother.
She was smiling at me. On her right hand
She wore her aquamarine ring.
In her left, she held my lost daisy clip-on.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo is from about two years ago, which is when I lost the earring on a flight to visit my daughter (from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Washington, DC).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The topic resonated with me on many levels—humor, loosing keys and phone; then the more serious of loosing checkbook and my Mom’s ring and that silly little earring. Truly, what the woman at Delta Lost and Found said, was life-changing. Things are only things–always a good theme, but also the idea that we should not be made to feel guilty (even and perhaps especially when we are heaping the guilt upon ourselves!) for using these things. They are meant to be used—and if something happens, so be it! My Mom knew that and although she was sad about the ring, she never scolded me or punished me over the loss. And here I was beating myself up over the loss of a “meaningless” earring. Yep, I sometimes think that woman was an angel sent to release me and all women from unnecessary guilt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Leotta has been playing with words on page and stage since childhood in Pittsburgh. She is a writer and story performer. Her poetry and essays appear or are forthcoming in Gnarled Oak, the A-3 Review, Hobart Literary Review, Silver Birch, Peacock,Postcard Poems and Prose among others. Her first poetry chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, was just released by Finishing Line Press. She also has written a series of novels, Legacy of Honor, and a set of four picture books, Rosa’s Shell is the latest. A group of her short stories, Simply a Smile is available in paper and on Kindle. You can find more about her work on her blog at, follow her on twitter @beachwriter12 or on Facebook at Joan Leotta, Author and Story Performer.

Like a Pebble, It Was Gone
by Cristina M. R. Norcross

The vacuum cleaner hummed,
picking up cat hair
from my two tabbies –
and anything else
my eyes could not see.
Dents in the futon frame –
evidence of my
dancing while cleaning

When the music of the motor stopped,
I looked down
at my grandmother’s ring –
empty of its Carnelian stone.
All was frozen –
dust hanging in the soft, sunlit air –
while I crawled on my hands and knees,
hoping to find the clear burgundy, half-moon shape.

My seeking hand found the missing jewel,
only to realize that the popping out
was much easier than the popping back in.

I brought the stone and base to
a jeweler in the Ottawa Market.
(This was in college, so my wallet was light
and my hope was endless.)
I think the jeweler saw my hope and took pity.
We exchanged two days of me working
at his outdoor stall on Sparks Street,
for him skillfully cutting and shaping a new stone
and filling the back with liquid silver.

Nothing meant more than preserving
what had been entrusted to me –
the place where my grandmother’s fingers
once held a book –
the memory of rings and bracelets
on a cream lace dresser top –
the song of her bangles
when they chimed in unison.
An ornate jewelry box, opened wide,
she would share her treasures,
while telling the story behind each piece.

New bridge, new silver,
a sculpted, new stone –
this ring now has my imprint
and the shadow of my next generation fingers.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION:  My grandmother’s antique Carnelian stone ring – transformed with love in Ottawa, Canada (in 1994), to withstand future decades of vacuuming.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I write about my grandparents, on both sides of the family, quite often. It is my way of connecting to a time when they were still here. Perhaps, it is my writer’s version of sitting down to hear their stories over a cup of tea. When I lost the original stone to this ring, I panicked. Restoring the ring, by having a jewelry artist cut and shape a new stone, then rebuild the base around it, meant that I was able to somehow honor my grandmother’s memory. Working for the jeweler, to pay for his services, allowed me to tell him many, many stories about my grandmother. (He didn’t actually have a choice, of course.) Hence, my future vocation as a storyteller. She lives on in my words – she always will.


Cristina M. R. Norcross
is the author of seven poetry collections. Her most recent books include Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016) and Still Life Stories (Aldrich Press, 2016).  Her works have been published, or are forthcoming, in The Toronto Quarterly, Your Daily Poem, Lime Hawk, The Poetry Storehouse, Right Hand Pointing, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others.  Cristina’s work also appears in numerous anthologies. She was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition and a finalist in the 2015 Five Oaks Press Chapbook Contest.  Cristina is the founding editor of the online poetry journal Blue Heron Review. She is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day and a contributing artist to The Art Ambush Project. Connect with this poet on Twitter @firkinfiction or find out more about her work at

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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.

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Totem Bracelet
by Diana Rosen

My sister, with whom I’ve had a challenging relationship, gave me an elephant’s hair bracelet with 14k gold details that I cherished. It was a generous gift, one that reflected that she had listened to my story of the myth that elephant’s hair brings one luck. She presented it in person during an especially enjoyable experience of lunch and laughs, an occasion rare but treasured.

Imagine my distress one day when I could not find it anywhere. Not on the bureau where I usually put jewelry after the day is done; not in any of the (embarrassing to admit) fifteen large and small boxes where I store jewelry. And, in case I was truly losing my mind, not on my wrist.

I fretted.

I mourned.

I accepted the loss.

I even bought another elephant’s hair bracelet though it didn’t have the appeal of the original one.

One morning, flummoxed about what to wear, I went through everything in the closet. The last item was a knitted dress and there was the bracelet, hanging onto fibers on the front of the dress, which had gone totally unnoticed for more than a year. (Good reason for regular closet cleaning, but that’s another story.) I removed it gently, pressed the disturbed threads of the dress back into their original shape, and examined the catch. It was bent and could not be closed. I dashed to the jeweler who repaired it in minutes, and wore it back home. Without revealing this story, I called my sister for a lunch and gabfest, one we do more often now.

The two elephant’s hair bracelets are worn together now, a reminder that the myth of luck may comfort but our mutual reaching out to one another keeps this wobbly, rocky sisterly relationship together.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My two elephant’s hair bracelets.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diana Rosen is a nonfiction author of 13 titles, a flash fiction and essay writer (mostly recently in fall 2016 issue of Tiferet), and a poet with more than 45 credits (so far!) –including several poems in Altadena Poetry Review, to be published in April 2017. She is a regular contributor of content on food and beverage to online websites. Her process is not unlike her favorite recipe direction, rewrite “until done.”

Wiley Found Fish
Impulse Shopping in Southampton
by Lisa Wiley

I didn’t need a pair of goldfish earrings,
but you impressed me with a story.

Inspired by a character from Bucolic Plague,
a crossdresser in a past life,

you designed these glass tangerine fish
to dangle from his bra.

These tiny treasures I found, relics
to remember I stepped out of my life once

to attend this writing workshop
on this lonely, sandy patch of Long Island.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I wandered around town aimlessly on my one day off from the Southampton Writers Conference 2013 not having been alone much in 13 years since my children were born.

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Lisa Wiley
teaches English at Erie Community College in Buffalo, New York. She is the author of two chapbooks—My Daughter Wears Her Evil Eye to School (The Writer’s Den, 2015) and Chamber Music (Finishing Line Press, 2013). Her poetry has appeared in The Healing Muse, Medical Journal of Australia, Mom Egg Review, Rockhurst Review, Silver Birch Press, Third Wednesday, and Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicineamong others. She serves as a regional judge for Poetry Out Loud and has read her work throughout New York State. Visit her on Twitter.

PHOTO: The author and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins at SUNY Stony Brook, July 2013.