No Ring Lasts An Eternity
Rummaging through my jewel box I come across a token I thought I’d lost
years ago to the shooting star who stole a sliver of my soul.
Eavesdropping leaves silently spied as together we watched that star and dared to hope,
Sprawled in a whispering meadow, caresses shrouded in darkness that just you and me
and the galaxy were permitted to see. Hushed stars bore witness as you slipped the ring
on my finger tenderly, it’s golden sheen promising to capture our love for eternity.
Unfortunately, nobody told me of dark secrets often clouded beneath the sly facade of eternity,
awakened me from it’s ill-fated fallacy or forced me to accept the glaring reality I’d lost
to child’s play. If only someone had shook my spellbound shoulders until that treacherous ring,
now two sizes too big, wiggled loose and fell in the nick of time, releasing my intoxicated soul
from inevitable heartache. Oh if only I’d known that Fate’s slingshot stone would strike me
and bite my fragile sanity like a snake, snuffing the flame bearing it’s final wrinkle of hope.
I’m only human unlike yourself, and hence cannot help but wonder if hope
ever existed for us. Perhaps if we weren’t so foolish believing our love could prevail for eternity,
despite our friends and family who shook their heads knowingly, and my mother who told me
to flee, judging all men to be scoundrels, especially father, who is to blame for her misery, lost
to incessant gambling despite her pleas. Despondently dousing this gospel over my daft soul,
I wait patiently until a dash of sun halts the speech-eyes drawn to the gleaming luster of my ring.
It’s quite peculiar don’t you agree, that a tiny material object like a ring
has become a symbol dearly treasured by lovers for the promises of everlasting hope
it brings? Scorned divorcees like mother grow more bitter every year, the holes in her empty soul
widening with age. I vowed never to allow love to haunt me, as it will haunt she for eternity,
believing that if I remained blissfully naive, virgin optimism would not permit this love to be lost
as together we formed our lover’s knot that night beneath the stars- I had you, you had me.
Exactly a year to the day, in the same meadow, we stiffly sit beside one another as confess to me
that that our love had grown stale, it wasn’t meant to be. I rock myself and turn the tarnished ring
between my fingers apprehensively, wondering how a love once so strong had been lost
to crossroads tainted with temptation. Only one tree in the meadow held the final beacon of hope,
I watched two leaves refuse to surrender to winter, struggling for what felt like an eternity,
Choking back sobs, my heart sank as one by one each relinquished their fighting soul.
There was a time when I would poke fun at boy bands whining about the aching soul,
Chuckled at lyrics echoing poor hearts that were broken with bats. Until heartache found me
and I experienced the unbearable turmoil of a broken heart that seems to last for eternity.
Even now as I stroke this token I thought I’d lost, worn gold refuses to restore the shine in a ring
once fine enough to adorn a queen. A ring that once symbolized a love so tender and full of hope,
until the day you decided to take a nymph’s alluring bait- our love turned to hate, forever lost.
My scars have faded with time, yet have been present since the day our love was deemed lost
indefinitely. Amidst fallen leaves you said goodbye, bade me to unclench the false hope
held captive in white knuckles crossed over my heart. My fist receded to reveal a decrepit ring
too tired to shine, now ignorant of it’s original intentions. Outstretched palm beheld it to the soul
who together with mine wished upon a shooting star for our love to never stray, swore to me
under the stars. Alas, mother’s warnings have come to be- no ring ever truly lasts an eternity.
Author’s Note: No Ring Lasts An Eternity
I initially chose these words for my sestina; lost, scorn, hope, me, ring, and shore. However I ended up switching “shore” for “eternity” and “scorn” for “soul” as these words gave the poem more to build on. My central focus I wanted to build on was a love that had been lost. The author of the poem had experienced a significant heartbreak, having been abandoned for another woman (the “nymph” mentioned in the sixth stanza) by a longtime boyfriend or fiancé (the reader is left to decide which, but I personally envisioned that she had been abandoned by a fiancé, hence the significance of the “ring” in the poem and the fact that it tarnished over the years and the like). I thought this poem would be extremely hard to write and difficult to transition smoothly, but I found it surprisingly fun and easier to write then I had expected. This poem took a while to write, about three hours, but it was so fun to write I hardly noticed how much time had flown by. I usually hate writing within any sort of boundaries or rules, preferring to write to the beat of my own racing mind, yet I found this form easy to assemble thanks to your template- without it, I would’ve spend hours trying to figure out the proper form! I actually really enjoyed this form, and even though I typically don’t like following any fixed poetic form, I would definitely like to try writing a sestina again in the future. Next time however, I will spend more time coming up with words, since I wasted twenty minutes trying to write a stanza with my initial group of words before scrapping the whole thing and starting fresh!