The Artifacts of Jon Roddy

A cream-colored paper,
listing his personal effects,
underneath a gold tooth from the golden son—
harvested from the rubble and ruin.
It had shone like a bullet in the desert.
A silver wedding ring,
marking a bronze anni with Margot,
the diamond signifying what would have been.

Two items,
nested in a copper vessel—
an ashtray shaped like a cobra
feeding upon itself—
a prize won in his first card game.
Yet it was when he married Margot,
he felt like he’d won the lottery;
when Johnny had been born,
it was like making it all tax-free.

Such was the life of Jon Roddy,
melted down to the most precious of metals:
Gold, silver, copper—
he’d won every prize.

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