Dorothy Molloy’s “Eternity Ring”

I am reading The Poems of Dorothy Molloy. Last week I ducked into a bookshop between rain showers and found  this by serendipity.  I had never heard of Molloy, an Irish poet whose first collection of poetry, Hare Soup, was published posthumously in 2004.  Molloy’s poems are spiky, witty, disturbing, and unexpected, blitzing conventional ideas about domesticity and women’s lives.

Some of the poems are quite funny and I thought I’d share this one.

Eternity Ring

  “I can’t get this blasted thing off:
the ring set with stones that eats into

my flesh. I’ve tried fretsaws and slashers
and pneumatic drills; Fatima,

butter and soap. Lard.
I rode a tank over my knuckles,

I dropped a bomb onto my hand.
The ring is still grand.”

This made me laugh. I took my own ring off to do the dishes one day and it has been in a china jar ever since.  Hands shrink, hands swell.   Nobody tells you.  Except Dorothy Molloy.