Melding Metal with Metal

by Deirdre Fagan


A brass diamond lies in my palm on the morning of our wooden anniversary,

perfectly cut by you, and holding at least partly the weight of us,

while the early sun shines through the porch window.


Reflected in each of its polished facets, as I roll it about,

wiggling my fingers in a sort of gleeful dance, I recognize

our earlier softer shape now heated, cooled, honed.


Brass is a substitutional alloy: atoms of copper and zinc replace each other

to form the whole—but replacement was never what we were after,

nor what was best.


Head to head, peering at its stable, broader top, together,

we find the flat of this brass diamond reflects in its smoothed surface

both, no, each of us.


I attempt to stand the diamond precariously on its fine point,

and am reminded of how we began, singularly, unstable, while

its sharp point pricks at my palm’s life line.


I turn the diamond on its head, and we, again together,

marvel at how it now spreads outward with confidence,

stability achieved, perfected.


“Wood burns,” I say, as we pass from palm to palm

this brass diamond reflecting in its wholeness

five golden years of union.



Deirdre Fagan is a widow, wife, mother of two, and associate professor and coordinator of creative writing at Ferris State University. Fagan is the author of a chapbook of poetry, Have Love, Finishing Line Press (2019) and a collection of short stories, The Grief Eater, Adelaide Books (forthcoming, 2020). Meet her at





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