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Know the West

Gold Ring

A poem by Cecily Parks.


High Country News · Gold Ring

Life is short and I still haven’t

slept with a married man, swum

in a fairy pool fringed by gorse

on the Isle of Skye, or swallowed

a gold ring. My finger

in another’s mouth: been there. What key

opens the shed where I keep the spare?

A ring of petals rests on the table

because I touched the yellow flower

I suspected of being dead. All gone,

all gone is the song of the baby

who has eaten all her food. All gone,

the days when I could have been

doing my undones and been, perhaps,

undone. Oh wait, hold on, I slept

with a married man not long ago.

He was my husband. My days go on.

Cecily Parks is the author of three poetry collections, including The Seeds, forthcoming from Alice James Books in 2025. She teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University.