We always said Mother was a magpie,
collecting trinkets of any shape or size
as long as they sparkled.
She adored the flash of the fake diamond
on her finger turning it this way and that
to blaze with light.
Though the real jewel of her mind dulled
and winked down to ash she still
insisted on wearing
a festoon of green and gold Mardi Gras
beads that she found in the street after
a parade had passed.
In the end we had to open so many tiny
boxes crammed with shiny things of
little or no value
and remember she was always a magpie
yet when she left there was no flash
of white on black wings
nor the blue iridescence of feathers in
flight to signal a well-made departure
just a faint swirling
as corner dust stirred when the covers
ceased their agonal rising and the hand
with the ring grew still.
©Dana Hughes 10.4.17