Dante Di Stefano

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.

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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.