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A Lament for Lost Valuables: Three Sonnets

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Reagan Dregge

My daughter lost her glasses in the snow
Prescription lenses paid for just last week
Waylaid along our wandering—sled in tow—
Through winter laden slopes beyond the creek

All afternoon until the sun sank low
We traced, retraced, and scoured every drift
Our eyes scanned back and forth and to and fro
Our bodies bent, our fingers spread to sift

The crystal flakes, but not a trace was found
Too deep and wide the barren buried field
No lens nor framework strewn upon the ground
No hoped for glint our desperate probe revealed.

Still other memories I rue to write—
Our only car key chanced to disappear
In leafy lawn on bonfire day despite
Detector, magnet, even rake. How queer

That loss should hunt us, haunt us, gall, gut, grieve,
Assail us with regret. The worst heart-sting:
My womb and fingers swollen, to relieve
The throbbing pain, took off my wedding ring

And never put it on again. O knife!
O wretched wrenching barb! O scornful blade!
The days are worn with grief, the years are rife
With treasures stolen, vanished, or mislaid.

O Consolation, Foundling Forager,
Who understanding spreads and wisdom sprawls,
Who sees each sparrow, Who counts every hair
Who misses coins and lambs and prodigals

What is the point of all the miles roamed,
The hours wasted groping in the dark?
The waters dredged, the sandy beaches combed,
The embers sieved—the ash, soot, flame, and spark?

How long, O Lord, must futile searches last?
How long our blind eyes beggar for Your sight?
How many times our fishing nets recast?
How often must we tender up our plight?


(silence is kept)


One Day Eternal Spring will melt the snow
Bright Dawn will break upon the dark below

Illuminating Love show forth the way
Unthwarted Truth appear as clear as day

I’ll cling fast to the promise of My Lord:




[Note: I've tried an unusual twist here with the sonnet form. The quatrains have been separated from their resolving couplets—the longer the pause, the stronger the effect. And goodness, sonnets are hard to write. The fourth and fifth quatrains could stand some reworking, but I'll offer them as they are for now.]

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Barb Knuckles

@Reagan Dregge

I like this so much. I find myself dismissing such losses as “only a ‘thing’” but they can cut deep. And they often evoke such a sense of failure and shame. I had never situated them in the context of the frustrations of the consequence of the Fall, as you so poetically did. Your ending lines opened my eyes to God’s caring about our lost things. 

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Bethany Sanders

This is beautiful, @Reagan Dregge! I love how you frame the loss, and offered it as an experience. (Also I'm impressed you successfully made it into a sonnet--I haven't ever succeeded at one). Thank you for sharing this.


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Renee Mathis

Oh @Reagan Dregge!!! I too have lost a wedding ring. It's almost too painful to even think about. Thank you for putting words to the groanings of my heart and for also putting words to the hope that I cling to. Blessings on you and your work.  Keep writing, my friend!

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Rachel Donahue

@Reagan Dregge this gave me chills. I love what you’ve done with the form, separating the couplets from the rest. What tension, then resolution! You have so many beautiful turns of phrase and the rhymes feel natural, unforced. (That takes work!) Thank you for crafting it so beautifully and then sharing it with us. 

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