LOST PEARL

GARDNER SPEAKS

In the Times Square Nathan’s dining room—
from fancy days as Toffenetti’s—while eating
a fried-oyster sandwich, I bit something hard.
I feared a stone, a dislodged filling, a chunk
of shell, but my tongue found a pearl—

tiny, but a perfect sphere, a dot of opalescence
on my fingertip, the idea of pearlishness more than
potential jewel—no real value, yet formed
by the same extravagant response to an irritant
as a priceless one, or as a poem is formed.

I admit: I lost it. In one of the years of the decades
since, I misplaced it, or else it vanished as minor
souvenirs will, hiding between boards
of a dresser drawer or pulled out with coins or tie tack
to roll away on the floor. The pearl is not

a symbol of what is lost. I have enough
reminders of lost friends, lost opportunities,
lost youth or money. That a…

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One comment

  1. blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Glad to see your well enough to post. I just found out that you had an accident and were (are?) in rehab. Good luck with your recovery.Paula

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