She flung the ring toward the center,

where it is claimed for all eternity

by the bracken waters of Bayou Teche.

Twenty years she’d worn the burden

of marriage promise and betrayal,

a promise she kept sacrosanct.  


How many lovers had her promised

wooed through the fat and lean years.

How many had she repelled,

turning blind eye and deaf ear,

choosing honor over disgrace—


until the day she trusted another,

breaking free the yoke of fidelity,

enduring the bitterness of guilt—

until the day she didn’t.
Dixon Hearne
Dixon Hearne writes in the American South. He is the author of seven books of poetry and fiction. His work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as well as the PEN/Hemingway and PEN/Faulkner awards. His latest book is Plainspeak: New and Selected Poems. Other poetry appears in Poetry South, Tulane Review, Big Muddy, New Plains Review, Weber: The Contemporary West, various anthologies, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a new poetry collection. www.dixonhearne.com

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