The Brass Ring

I made up a class reunion so I could call her mom to get her number.
I stared down at the digits for an hour pondering whether I should call or not.
She'd paid for college with beauty pageant scholarships and turned down at least 253 betrothals from guys like me, who saw her brass ring and wanted to grab it for themselves. She always smiled and said not yet, but at least to me, she said it in a way that gave me hope. It kept me coming back for years.
Each summer she grew older in a culture that valued young brides and motherhood. Until she wasn't 22 or 27 or 31 or 35 any longer.
Those children she'd imagined, that apostle kind of guy she'd been waiting for had come and gone. The good ones her age had long since settled down with lesser women who where acting as abrasives. grinding off those rough edges she had scorned. Now the only ones she found were porters, hauling baggage they'd accumulated from decisions they had made in lust or ignorance.
Finally at 36 she settled for a Sky Cap and each day bites her lip and tells herself it's how it's meant to be.
A then her baby girl, a child at last. But before the gibbous moon can rise the doctor says that numbness isn't going anywhere.
A thousand tests later her skycap holds her hand as doctors say eventually you'll waste away. First your legs, then arms, then speech, then breath will come and go. Until it goes and stays away.
Against the wishes of the hypocrats she bears a son. As if the life she breeds might fend the poison eating from within. But as she jellofies she ponders on those years she lost