Decree Absolute

And it’s not until you’ve poured the wine for us,
and then yourself, and passed our glasses down and 
sitting, held your plate out while she serves,
unthinking, as you’ve done so many times before, 
that I see you’ve followed suit in taking off your ring,

your hand’s as bare now as your bare feet on this morning’s floor, 
your uncombed hair and dry voice greeting the dogs,
and I wonder if you’ve kept such matters safe, 
that I might one day find and necklace them with hers, 
and I should ask the key for it, your hiding-place, 
but small talk takes its chair again,
and our raised glasses make a door, 
quietly closed between us.

by Emma Mainwaring

Emma Mainwaring is a graduate of the Masters in Creative and Media Writing at University of Wales Swansea. Her work has been published in Blink Ink and Ragged Raven Press. She lives in South Wales and works as a freelance gardener.