photo of ring with topaz crystals

Pawnshop Mama by Laura Hoffman

the bloodshot man
at the Value Pawn
said it was
genuine
as he fingered
the dainty band
of white gold:
my old
metal cherry
its stone:
a mystic topaz
that winked at me
in sparkling
Morse code
beneath the buzz
of lifeless
fluorescence
it was the ring
that the man
with the
Roman nose
forced over
my obstinate
pink knuckle
all those
years ago
I hocked it
last Wednesday
so that I
could buy
a carton of milk
for another
man’s babies

Laura Hoffman is a United States Marine Corps veteran currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English at The University of North Florida. Hoffman’s work is forthcoming or appears in: Bop Dead City, Clear Poetry, The Bangalore Review, Pouch, Twisted Sister Lit Mag, Poetry Circle, Gyroscope Review, Lady Blue Literary Magazine, Penultimate Peanut, The Write Launch, and ‘WOWsdom: The Girl’s Guide to The Positive and The Possible‘ by Donna Orender (to be released: Fall 2017).

Lead image“The Ring” (via Flickr user Earth-Bound Misfit, I)

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