Three years ago I got married. My wife put a ring on it. This ring. 

She didn’t buy it. And I didn’t buy it. It came from my mother.

It was her mother’s. I’m wearing my grandmother’s ring. 

That’s weird to write. 

It wasn’t meant to be this way. I was meant to wear my grandfather’s ring. 

And, I am in a way. 

Let me explain. 

Poppa, as we called him, died before I moved to Portland—12 years ago. 

My grandma died a few years later. But before she did, she told my mom she wanted me to have his ring.

So, when I was planning to marry, I asked my mom to bring the ring to me in Oregon. 

When we sat down together and I tried it on, it didn’t fit. Poppa has sausage fingers. See, he worked with his hands for 99 years—right up until the end. I put on the ring he wore during his nearly 70 years of marriage to my grandma and it felt like a bracelet. There was no way I was going pull it off. Mainly because it fell off.

I was bummed. But my mom to the rescue. Like the trained magician she is, she pulled out from no where this ring, which looks like a man’s band. 

She said it was my grandma’s. And I was confused. I looked at the inside and saw the initials W.K. (William Keil, Poppa had no middle name) and CHL (Caroline Hedges Keil), my grandma’s initials. Engraved, also, was 9-7-’40, the day they got married.

I could tell Poppa had had his hands on this ring. He made jewelry after he retired and there were tiny hammer marks on the outside of the two bands that make up the one ring. The bands look silver but it says 14K on the inside, so I assume it’s gold. 

I play with the ring a lot and look at it from time to time and think of them—my grandparents, whom taught me many things, who are gone but not forgotten, who are fading form my memory the more that time passes. 

I think that it's special that I get to wear their ring. The one she wore, and the one he worked on.

That their ring is our ring.

I think of the two of us and the four of us coming together like these two silver looking gold bands are coming together.

This ring that touches the vein in my finger connected my heart. 


Barista at the airport asks people where they’re off to.

Reacts to us excitedly,

Oh that’s cold…Yikes, how?
All with a smile on his face.

Takes the card, 
swipes it. 
Returns a receipt without a line for the tip.

We’re surrounded by jars 
that all say the same thing:

If you don’t like change, leave it here.

Crammed in each and every one 
of them are
Single dollar bills. 

Spilled out, the airport money is
Padding the coffer of the barista.
Who will one day be taking a trip
to the most appealing place 
he’ll recall someone saying to him 

Which won’t be the place I’m going, 
single digits or if double 
not much higher than 12.

Your small latte is ready.

And even though I spent three dollars and 50 cents on a cup
I find a single and add to his. 


I didn’t have what I ended off the year with: Time. But now I have it. On my wrist! See, the watch that I’m wearing is a Timex—Made in China! It's a nice watch that has a weight to it. Big numbers on a black background. Indigo, too And a genuine, black leather band. I got the watch as a present. Picked it out with my wife! It was our agreed upon gift. At that time, I didn’t have a gift for it.  So it was a stressful time. But also exciting! Because of the watch. I ended up giving her drumsticks and that one David Sedaris book. She’s now read it. Both were complete surprises to her. That was Christmas Now it’s February, the 8th. And today, I got a massage. It was given to me by an older woman. I took off all my clothes for her! And put my watch–yes, that watch—in the pocket of my folded jeans just so. Before lying face down on the table with nothing on but my undies. Please, she yelled to me, Get under the sheet! And closed the door again. I didn’t know! Putting my clothes on after, the watch fell out of my pocket and onto the cement floor. The back popped off and wouldn't go back on. Time had stopped for all of us for two days until I got my watch back back on. Fixed by a Jeweler (for free!) and set to the correct time and date. I placed my Timex on my left wrist and left.