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Jacqueline West's work has appeared in journals including Pebble Lake Review, Barnwood, Chizine, flashquake, The Pedestal Magazine, St. Ann's Review, and Briar Cliff Review.  She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her chapbook, Cherma, is forthcoming from Parallel Press.  More about her work can be found at












Jacqueline West


Dad lost his wedding ring

slipping subtly from his front shirt pocket

as he bent in the spring sun,

compressing thorn mounds and cleared scrub

against the stone foundation of the old barn.


We crawled helpfully around that relic,

our standing stones,

hunting for new and ancient clues.

Our sneakered feet unearthed pig skeletons,

cleaned white with the smoothing of time

and bits of green glass bottles,

old and thick as a slice of bread.

With rented metal detectors

we excavated our Midwestern mausoleum

discovering with heart-quickening clicks

a wheat penny,

a handful of square nails.


We never found the wedding ring.

In time, we gave up the hunt.

Mom bought Dad a new ring,

polished and sound in its Christmas box,

and the old band tucked its dull gold

more comfortably into the soil

somewhere on these eighty acres.


A sleeping stone
it collapses into the past,
becoming one
of the legends of this land,
the buried treasure
of home.                                  



In the Brush Pile