These days, you don’t just buy a solitaire.
You look for flaws with magnifying loupes,
check color grades, make setting choices: flared
four-prong cathedral, ridged contour, or flutes
of baguette accents down the sides. The bands,
once standard 14k gold, now come
in weapons-grade titanium. It stands
to reason, one would think, as rings become
unbreakable, the bonds they represent
might, too. But every master jeweler knows
about the unseen structural punishment
gems undergo, the blades, the saws, the blows
received on every face, the grinding hours
it takes for shapes like teardrops, hearts, and flowers.
“The Ring” appeared in Sonnets: 150 Contemporary Sonnets, ed. William Baer (University of Evansville Press, 2005).