The Hematite Ring
Connie Francis was wailing
“Where the Boys Are” into my earphones,
when I saw the throb of silver
between the yucca plant and red rock.
With the sunset sprawled around meand the tired rustles of tumbleweeds
from just north of the ant hills and gully,
I sat on the red rock, tracing circles
around the tight, fluidic metal in the sand,
a lost desert treasure, dusted, adorned
with bracelets of its own minuscule cracks.
Adopted, I was my mother’s own desert treasure.I had been born and picked from under that sky.
Sitting there, I thought of an unknown woman
who gave birth to me, I thought of mother and I,
and I thought of Connie’s clear cries
twisting through the lost hematite ring.
The night pulled me close, held me.
There was not a moment of understanding,no parting of the clouds to reveal
ghost-riders roaming the sky. There were
no Superstition Mountain echoes
to spirit me away. No baby
diamondback to strike without benefit
of a warning rattle.
There was only me, dusty and tired.I felt the ring loose on every finger,
felt my mother in every gap
between metal and flesh.
-G. Don Penrose