Lighting the Absence – a poem by M. Stone

Lighting the Absence

My belief: a cheap gold ring
passed on to me in childhood
when I couldn’t properly care for it.

The solitary stone was cloudy
as if smudged with dish soap residue.
Dented band, two broken prongs—

I surrendered it to the dirt one spring
when I planted seeds, actually did
a useful thing.

Later I saw a single electric candle
glowing in a country church window
and craved the secure weight I once felt
on my finger. The clapboard building
was deserted that Saturday afternoon,

rendering the gleam superfluous until dark,
superfluous even then on a back road
with no houses nearby.

Some nights I gaze at the sky
through a telescope lens and am stricken
by the emptiness that appears to breathe,
that threatens to devour galaxies.

I think of the void in my own chest,
a lack so profound it bears weight,
and I wish with the fervent hope of a girl
in prayer that the lone candle I glimpsed
all those years ago still burns.

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at

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