It is one long fingernail with pearl-colored polish
that isolates a single sparkling stone
on gray velvet cloth.
It is a widow’s hand
each pale finger ringed with stones–
stones that slide sideways and click
softly together when she picks up
his gold wedding band.
It is a tinkling sound
that escapes her steady discipline
when she reaches across the counter–
bracelets and bangles , charms and cabinet keys,
silver and gold , all together
like wind chimes.
But she is no gypsy.
It is that she is a true lady
with some word marked across her years,
perhaps a name–
what a flashback would reveal.
It is her brow
as it slowly worries into a fear.
“I am no psychic…” she starts, then stops,
suddenly retreating behind a blushed smile,
eyes cast downward at the floor.
It is her surprise.
“I don’t know why I said that…” she begins again,
her left hand pressing against the skin
at the base of her neck.
It is the tone of her voice
which becomes strangely casual,
“Why don’t you just get rid of this ring?
You’re such a nice boy.”
*first seen in POET’S GALLERY