The Wedding Ring
Literary Gems is brought to you with the support of Raiman Rocks.
This series is curated by Gali Rotstein.
The Wedding Ring
by Terri Hanauer
I tried on my mother’s clothes
she was already in the ground
lying beside my father
so I didn’t think she’d mind.
It was the dress from that photo
when she was 20 in Prague.
The photo was black and white
but I had a feeling the dress was emerald
wool with long sleeves and a thin belt around the waist.
I tried on the shoes. Heavy black thick straps and heel.
Nylons with a seam down the back.
She had a gold tooth so I put that on, too.
I let my hair be wavy like hers
with two clips pulling the sides back.
The hat was black with a thin net veil.
Her stride was long and strong
she had no idea where she was headed.
When I was ten I stood in front of her dresser
the round mirror with me in the middle.
It was eight o’clock
middle of July
Ed Sullivan was on
the lamp was on
I took off
my clothes and put on her pearls
and then her lace blouse.
I heard laughter.
It wasn’t coming from the living room.
It was the neighbors next door
they were standing on their back porch
watching my shadow through the pull-down shade.
Laughing. At. Me.
I crouched down
lay on the floor for half an hour. Shaking.
No more to see
they went back into their house.
For my wedding
I wore my mother’s ring
the one she carried through the camps,
the one that held in its
brilliance the facets of
the women who had come before.
I married them all.
They put their arms around me
and held me close.
Today I wear my mother’s kindness.
At least I try to.
Oh, and I thought you should know
the neighbors have all died.
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Poetry by Terri Hanauer © Chiaroscuro Productions, 2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terri Hanauer extensive background as an actress and photographer led her to directing her first short film, “A Day in the Life,” which screened at numerous festivals. She was accepted into AFI’s DIRECTING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN. Her short, “Recycling Flo,” was chosen by AFI to represent it at the Cannes Film Festival – International Short Film Corner. It screened at over 40 festivals and won Two BEST SHORT FILM/JURY awards. She has co-directed 13 half-hour episodes of “Zane’s Chronicles” for HBO/After dark. Her first feature film, “Sweet Talk,” is distributed by Gravitas Ventures and is available on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Vudu and iTunes. On stage, she directed “Café Society” at the Odyssey Theatre where she received HONORABLE BEST DIRECTOR and the cast received BEST ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY; “The Trip Back Down” at the Whitefire Theatre for which Broadway World nominated her BEST DIRECTOR; “La Ronde de Lunch” for the Katselas Theatre Company, which was Ovation Recommended and received 6 LA STAGE SCENE AWARDS including BEST DIRECTION; Mitch Hara’s “Mutant Olive” BEST SOLO SHOW AWARD; “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Mutually Assured Destruction” and “The Assassination of Leon Trotsky: A Comedy”; Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies’ “Collected Stories” which was invited to the EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL; Thaao Penghlis’ touring solo show “Places”; the award-winning “Father, Son and Holy Coach,” BEST OF 2016 list/touring the country; “April, May & June” nominated BEST DIRECTOR by Broadway World; “Drama Queens from Hell” and “The Death and Life of Mary Jo Kopechne” at The Odyssey Theatre. Stevie Wonder blessed her baby when she was nine months pregnant, magician Doug Henning sawed her in half when she was his assistant and the hugging saint, Amma, hugged her. She has just completed her first novel, SHADOW OF THE BUTTERFLY.