In my work, my gloves wear through,
revealing skin, knuckles, fingernails
worn tough by this regular grind.
Always the first to break through
is my wedding ring, which looks
at first sight, like
a golden worm,
cresting the surface
of rich garden earth after a rain,
 
or the first streak of morning
cracking the darkness of night.
 
This comforts me while I work,
when the drear overtakes the mind,
any thought you’ve once had blanches
and that old stiffness rises and plateaus
and fingers shudder and want to quit
and callus (mercifully achieved) splits,
opening a seam of deep pink,
the rebirth of pain once overcome.
 
Seeing the ring, I remember why I work—
the ring not being my wife, herself
(my wife much more brilliant, though
just as scuffed from work of her own)
but something to keep with me, to catch
my eye at an odd glance with a glimmer,
to elicit a smile I forgot I had.
 
I'm not worried about my wedding ring
getting scuffed up, not really,
this soft metal with the steel that abrades it—
after all the ring is just a ring.
And what it
signifies, what it
proves day in day out
is much, much stronger than steel.
 
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About Adrian Lime


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Adrian Lime is a founding member of Toledo, Ohio’s Almeda Street Poets and an active member of the Toledo Poetry Museum and ToledoPoet.com. He has assembled, coordinated, and performed the annual Back to Jack [Kerouac] Reader’s Theatre for the past ten years. He is a regular participant in Art-o-Matic 419,...read more 100Thousand Poets for Change Toledo, Ode to the Zip Code, and as many public readings as time allows. Along with his wife, Adrian runs the Glass City Poetry Happy Hour at a local coffee shop each week. Adrian has been published in a few scattered Ohio zines and print journals, as well as the anthologies Glass Streets (Toledo Streets Newspaper), Tuesday Nights at Sam & Andy’s Uptown Café (Westron Press), and Bards Again 2016 (The Poetry Barn). He is an automotive line worker, and lives in West Toledo with his wife and two children.
2 comments
Discussion
  1 week ago
The ending was just marvelous!
  1 week ago
A great poem.

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