By The Wayside

I once read an interview with the author Tom Robbins. When asked about his writing process he answered that he wrote his stories one sentence at a time. He would write a sentence, then rewrite and edit and polish, until the sentence was perfect. Only then would he write the second sentence. I decided to try this method. I didn't get a story out of it, but I took what I did get and shaped this poem...

At the edge of a Southwestern desert road
a ruby ring glittered like carnival glass
dancing in shimmering sun rays
until Jesse Rincon detected its twinkle
among the malodorous contents of her upchucked stomach,
and salvaging the scarlet orb from the acidic soup,
she made it her own

The ring wasn't particularly expensive
or unique in form or contour, but owing
to the remarkable conditions of its reclamation
along with the curious detail of its precise fit
on her middle finger

    (the only finger she cared to place a ring),

Jesse believed it to be a magical amulet, an angel,
a harbinger of better things to come.
She had long prayed for a miracle,
for the ground to shift underneath her feet,
preparing the way for the Lord,
and the ring seemed to fit her criteria.

Whistling "Unforgettable" through her teeth,
Jesse put her tattered green Nova in drive and
sped off into a blaze of orange-pink cumulus clouds
billowing promising parables she memorized
like a catechism. Encouraged and uplifted, buoyed by hope
for the first time in a long line of first times,
Jesse wondered whether the glistening red sphere
could impart a catalytic impetus to finally forge
a new alchemic season in her life, or
if like everything she experienced in life,
its allure would fall simply by the wayside
in much the same manner the ring was lost
in the first place.