It was not mine when it caught my eye,
I had never seen treasure like this before;
An opal stone set firmly in gold
Had lured me into the antique store.
Now it sat in a box amongst breakfast and tea,
Eight slices of toast with a message in cheese;
Toast perfectly buttered and words written neat,
Such a mighty feast adorned my table
That my brain was not quite comprehending,
The offer of marriage in edible love
And the unanswered question still pending.
My eyes filled with tears and the word “yes” escaped
And the ring flashed like sun and like fire,
She tenderly slipped the ring onto my finger,
For my love, I just could not deny her.
I mused over the jewel that now circled my finger;
Of its journey, its life and it’s past,
Who wore it before me, and who gave it up?
Was it a symbol of love that still lasts?
Was it owned by a lady who travelled the world,
Who read Shakespeare and Milton and Pope?
Did she write words with new inspiration?
Did the ring give her courage and hope?
Did she sit in a café and hold hands with her love?
Did they fill life with lobster and wine?
Did they explore foreign lands, discover by chance
The opal amongst darkened mines?
My ring holds the secret to questions I pose
Locked tight in six claws of rich gold,
The oval shaped opal like a world filled with fire,
And serpents and magic and wonder untold.
The magic consumed me as I strolled to the light,
The stone changed from fire into ocean,
Its sky filled with morning, with sunbeams
And clouds and a light show of pleasure and motion.
My gem is unique in this world, like no other,
It’s a rainbow enclosed in a stone,
Revealed to the world through endurance and skill,
It’s a lifetime of pleasure I own.
I wear it with pride on my left hand, fourth finger,
I imagine the gem’s sweet voice sing,
“You are unique, you are precious and have
fire in your soul, and your world will live on in this ring.”
©Eilidh G Clark