On Losing My Wedding Ring While Planting an Orchard
That this small band of white gold has been lost
among the roots of saplings, which will grow
and, perhaps, shoot a finger through the hoop
that will choke the bark coasting underground,
is no small consolation; that the hooves
of deer will silk the dirt above it now
and at the hour of my death, and of yours,
is a brittle thought that breaks like hills
whose trees cycle through a blaze of autumns.
That my friend, whose orchard this is, will let
his little daughters build imaginary
kingdoms between the rows where an empire
of apples will one day scud what once was
pasture, and that our initials will be
buried, unacknowledged, beneath their dreams
and beside their father’s hope, is a swan
that origamis the endless mountains.
I will buy a new ring and remember
how the original, encased in earth,
hooping worm and rock and root and desire,
remains unbroken, a trancing of loam,
subterranean, shining in the dark
that gallops and gallops still underfoot.
<< Brass Band Epithalamion
Dante Di Stefano earned his PhD in creative writing from SUNY at Binghamton. His poetry and essays have appeared recently in The Writer’s Chronicle, Shenandoah, Brilliant Corners, and elsewhere. He was the winner of the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry, the Bea González Prize in Poetry, and an Academy of American Poets College Prize.