The Weight of a Wedding Ring

February 22, 2007

“Macbeth, I told you,
is a tragedy of ambition……”
Drama class on a February afternoon—
murmurs, yawns, palpitating boredom
as 49 breathe the common air.

“Fair to foul, and foul to fair!…”
She rattles on, comfortably monotonous,
a glance now and then
passing above and over us.
No gold save her earrings,
no mogra in her hair;
a sedate sari in dull brown,
livelier than her.

She drones on, not moving,
never pausing for a breath.
Only two forces can stop her—
the ‘end-of-the-hour’ bell,
or Death.

Sunlight falls on fingers
bare, coated in chalk-dust;
bare wrists, bare neck, bare ankles,
Bare fingers—barren life—
the bleakness lingers
in the corridors
long after the ‘end-of-the-hour’ bell.

Drama class, again—June afternoon;
impatient drumming, fidgeting, mumbling,
a collective gasp.
Sunshine falls on moving fingers,
scatters into shards
of piercing light.

The heavy scent of mogra wafts in,
tinkle of anklets shatters the hush.
A shimmering vision in Fuschia
takes up the thread—
“My former speeches have but
hit your thoughts,……”
The voice, rich and varied, but familiar—
where have I seen her before?

Chalk-dust fingers, nimble,
Carry the weight of a wedding ring.
She pauses, a glance
not above or over me.
Tawny gaze locks with mine—kind, content eyes—
and a flash of recognition:
It’s Her!
Come alive
by the weight of a wedding ring.


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