Walking by the lake, I lose an earring
and don’t even notice it at first,
overwhelmed as I am
by the strangeness of everything.
Blocks later, my hand reaches up
to feel that slight absence in one ear.
So then I have to retrace
my steps, as they say to do,
past the guy jogging with his mask pulled down
and the hijab-wearing,
stroller-pushing young mother in stylish jeans
and the homeless man emerging from his tent
on the banks of our urban oasis
bearing a boom box on one shoulder.
And that’s where I spot it, lying on the sidewalk,
miraculously untrampled — small, precious
found thing, a turquoise oval
encircled with rows of beads,
given to me with love by someone
I haven’t hugged in more than a year.
Tiny rescue from the sea of loss,
just as we seem to have found
a raft to grab on to
in the wake of a shipwreck so vast
we cannot yet imagine the end of it.