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Monday, March 27, 2017


by Joan Colby

The authentic from the fake;
Even experts find it hard.
The man-made crystal
8.5 on the Mohs scale.
The diamond a perfect 10.

The naked eye cannot discern
Brilliance from brilliance.
The cheap version vs.
The blood diamond men die for.

Consider this ring: the 5 carat sparkler,
How it is envied
Or suspected.

The zircon entirely colorless
As a man without character.
The diamond leans into the prism
Of faint hues, like a man
Who still has doubts.

When it counts
Who can tell
The real glitter from the falsehood.
Facts of the matter
Or fake news.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 11 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers and How the Sky Begins to Fall (Spoon River Press), The Atrocity Book (Lynx House Press), Dead Horses and Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press), and Properties of Matter (Aldrich Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.