Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Her wedding ring

her wedding ring
found deep in red mud
………...that May day
when the tornado
tore through their heartland

Oklahoma, May 2013

—red lights, Vol. 10, No. 2, June 2014


  1. can be so stormy! love this.

  2. This brought a lump to my throat. Such a terrible lost - and then a symbol that life will never be quite the same again; though there is strength in the knowledge that bits and pieces can be recovered. I can just imagine her putting the ring back on and then . . . one foot down and then the other and the long, slow trek back, begins. A lovely evocative piece.

  3. thanks, jennifer and wendy. this one had to do with a news story I read. maybe in a few days I can share the details here. apparently, there are a number of lost, or temporarily lost, wedding rings in tornadoes.

    a lot of family members have lived in OK, including both of my parents. several relatives live in the OK City area, and my cousin lives in Moore, which rec'd the brunt of May 2013 tornado damage.

  4. A very poignant story-poem, especially with its multilayered final word, which transmutes the whole poem into potential metaphor.

  5. thanks, Jenny! for many, oklahoma (and other midwestern states, too, I assume) is the heartland in more ways than one.

  6. Very sad. Can a tornado really tear a ring from a finger?


    1. Hi, A. Don't see how it possibly could, and that's not what happened here. Not sure what you're asking. ?

  7. So, the story: This tanka was inspired by an article I read last year, soon after the main tornado that struck Oklahoma. The ring was a prized possession belonging to an elderly man's wife who passed away sometime earlier. The man lost his house, but some helpers did find the ring in the red mud. Literally, OK is part of the "heartland" of America. I decided to leave this poem rather open, allowing people to read it as they choose.