The Ring

by Denise Bennett

      For Ada aged 101
We found it slipped
between the sheets, she said

as she handed me my
mother’s engagement ring.

It had never left her finger
since her sailor beau had proposed

seventy seven years ago,
kissing her tide of red hair –

and I took the delicate band,
whittled thin with seventy years

of widowhood, and carried her
grief out into the rain.