Wednesday, November 28, 2018


A French Jet Necklace​

A daughter, let's call her Anna, sees her reflection​
in the glass beads strung together in a necklace​
wrapped with a label in her mother's writing.​

The mother calls to check Anna received the gift​
and says it was bought as a present for the mother ​
from an antique fair so is genuine Whitby jet.​

Anna lets the recycled gift comment pass, but ​
raises an eyebrow at being told the beads are genuine.​
She tests them: they are fake.​

Politeness demands Anna thanks her mother​
for the gift. Anna knows if she doesn't wear​
the beads in her mother's company, her mother​

will demand to know their whereabouts​
and why Anna is so ungrateful. If guests ​
are present, Anna's failing will be made public.​

And what sort of daughter wouldn't be gracious​
about receiving a gift, even if recycled? What daughter​
wouldn't be delighted in a fake antique necklace?​

And the guests, who might be forced to choose​
between believing a mother's apparent generosity​
or a daughter's claim of worthlessness,​

which side will they take? Anna partially cuts ​
the string. In her mother's shadow, it takes a quick tug​
to break and let the beads fall to the floor.​

Guests scurry to help collect scattered beads.​
Anna's mother stands rigid. Anna, now without​
necklace, expresses gratitude to the guests.​

- Emma Lee​

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