John Kay

At the end, my father took four,
long, calm breaths and died.

Last night he asked several times
if I had his ring, and I said, I did, 

showing it to him on my finger—
the 29th Artillery Regimental Ring.

He once told my mother that
if he mailed it to her–and he did,

it meant that he had “shipped,”
vanishing into the realm of WWII,

that from then on–no one would
know for sure where he was.