I sit in silence,
save for the stuttered breaths
and muffled groans of a smothered grief.
I dare not disturb the false bravado of
the remnants of my shattered family
gathered in the kitchen downstairs.
Laughter echoes through the house,
daring the ghosts to come forward
and bring form to the memories being spoken.
The bauble that once encircled
my mother’s third finger,
the memento of a promise once made,
winks at me with soulless intent.
On my mother’s youthful hand,
the ring spoke to the tingles and tangles
of a love fresh and full of possibility.
On my middle-aged and barren hand,
the ring speaks to nothing at all,
save for the burdens of time passed.
This diamond shackle holds no promise
nor any inheritance of hope.
Not for a motherless daughter.