The ring wanted to find her.
He wanted to remember the time when
Grandfather bought him in Auburn, New York,
in 1932 (or maybe 1933).

The ring knew the story.
"What do you want to do today?" said Grandfather.
He told her, "I thought we might drive out to Auburn
and get married."

They’d been on the road ages,
she singing and dancing and he humorously lecturing;
her suit could have stood up
by itself, she always said later.

After the wedding they both went back
to their own troupes.
They didn’t see each other again for six weeks.
The ring got to know her pretty well in that time, and afterwards missed her.

So one day the ring hit the road,
which was quite brave for such a small thing,
a little metal band with a diamond the size of an ant
and no other change of clothes,

looking for a place where something had happened to him
so long ago that he had been the height
of fashion, and people sang songs
like "Just My Gal," and the women wore satin and platinum.

He wanted to re-capture feel of it: the streets
(maybe dirt) with five or six cars, all of them black
and convertible - one of them with my grandparents in it,
all excited because they were getting married.

The ring set off, as I’ve said,
looking for a jewellers shop with a black-&-gold sign
saying, "Wedding rings sold here,"
hoping the sign would be near the bottom so he could see it.

It was like being in a dream (which it had to be,
because the ring’s mine now and I’ve never been to Auburn, New York),
but he wandered bravely past old banks and speakeasies and barking dogs.
He looked for them everywhere:

Gran Gran pretty as anything in a cloche hat,
and sparky with it, and Grandfather doting on her,
tall, black-eyed and still quite young
(but not that young. Almost old enough to be her father).

He wandered for years, out on those lonely roads,
dodging the roofless cars that made noises like geese,
looking at all the girls when they got out
to see if they had Gran Gran’s famous legs,

trying to hear what they were saying.
He doesn’t know what they were saying.
He wandered almost all the way
to Ohio.

Finally he gave up trying to get
to Auburn, New York, knowing only
that it was a long way and he was only a ring
(even though he has several smaller ornamental diamonds

round his middle, so he must be pretty bright),
and came home.
He did it all by himself.
I was so proud.

The ring is happy now on my finger,
miles of dusty roads and many convertibles later,
although he never found Auburn, New York
(but every year I do become more like my grandmother).

Katy Evans-Bush

If you've any comments on this poem, Katy Evans-Bush would be pleased to hear from you.