Claddagh / Calling it a Day

Lauren Sakol


I slid that ring off reluctantly;

for the first time not because

I was getting ready to shower

but because it was not part of me.


You dropped your chip on the counter;

the chip you had kept for good luck.

Gambling is risky and

it was time to cash in.


The last night I saw my breath crying.

Your sister drove me to the airport and asked

When will you be coming back again?

I racked my brain to avoid the word never.


The cashier fanned out those bills,

said looks like you've had quite a day,

but I commend you for finally

calling it one when you know that it's time.


I pressed my forehead on the window

and a finger against the groove left behind,

letting it hug the depressed pale flesh,

Warm it, maybe summon it to rise again.


I heard the grooves of the tires hugging

chips of gravel and tossing battered remnants

at the curb. I smiled sadly and I

thought of how gravel seemed so made for rubber.


I'm not sure when I'll be coming back.

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