On tidal flats' shrinking sediment
a golden wedding ring lies half buried;
engraved inside: beloved, friend,
we two form a multitude. Once married,
now lost to history, a man, a wife
in spontaneous embrace
declared for the rest of their lives—
or, anger unleashed, love erased.
In the river's dark swirl and flow
misbegotten children sink and rise
and sink again: shifting shadows
extinguish evidence before one's eyes.
Hope contending with experience:
the mud-tarnished gold still glistens.