Ring Finger, Left Hand

Coteau Books, 2001

In Ring Finger, Left Hand,  Katherine Lawrence explores the breakdown of a marriage from three perspectives: the groom, the bride, and the child who grows up asking questions.

The poems are “quick, sharp, hot, stylish….(that) dance us through a minefield of broken promises and lost dreams,” wrote poet Di Brandt.


Selected Praise For Ring Finger, Left Hand

At first glance, Ring Finger, Left Hand by Saskatoon’s Katherine Lawrence, is just another
redundant lament on marriage and family life. But crack open the spine and be ready for a startling surprise.
This first book (short-listed for the 2001 Saskatchewan best first book award) tracks the journey of one couple’s courtship, marriage, child bearing years, all the way through to their ultimate resolution: divorce.
Lawrence’s ability to use original metaphors on the “day-in-the-life” is staggering. There are times you can’t help but empathize with their desires and shortcomings. For example, when the husband admits: “I didn’t make enough money/to fill your mother’s crystal vases/with anything except/dust.” Or when the wife wonders: “Maybe if I had been organized/possessed the logic of canisters/neatly stacked …maybe I could have made us work.”
Ring Finger, Left Hand is more than a panoramic view of a family that falls apart. It is a poetic revealing of the deep layers within relationships, the description of a life we can all, at times, relate to: “We are out/of eggs, milk, apples./ We are out/of love, again.” The first book is definitely worth a read.
— Treena Kortje