I wear this ring …
By Julie Leibrich
The strangest harvest was one autumn, some years ago. I was digging in compost around a rosebush when I found a rose gold wedding ring in the soil. It is engraved H Evans and E Rallings 24th July 1920.
I’ve tried, without success, to trace a marriage. I wish I knew the story of this ring.
~ Was it lost while gardening or thrown to the ground in despair?
~ Did the marriage ever take place?
~ Did the ring signify a secret love?
It fitted me perfectly and I wear it to this day.
Suddenly, one day, the smell of autumn.
Something feral: something in the bones.
Memory bites to prove it’s not forgotten.
My ancestors are pushing up their stones.
You have to prune. A gardener has to toil.
Bottle plums to stave off fear of famine.
Gather leaves to feed next season’s soil.
Dig, divide, replant. The roots, examine.
This autumn is an endless afternoon.
The deeper I dig, the stranger is the treasure.
All night I stare, with the cats, at the harvest moon.
The slower the glow, the longer is the pleasure.
Then winter unfolds and everything’s concealed.
The source of life – mysteriously revealed.