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Posts Tagged ‘puzzle’

Dozens of puzzle pieces suspended in the air.

All day, I’ve wondered why no one else

seems to see them—dangling as they are

on the hiking trail and in the kitchen this morning,

over the highway and at the birthday party.

All day, they appear with their knobs and inlets,

their gray backs and colorful fronts,

spinning like small bits of certainty.

Sometimes I feel one fit into place

in some larger puzzle I don’t actually see,

but when a piece slips in, I feel it

with my whole body—a snap, a link,

a small yes. I don’t know whose hand

is doing the work. I don’t know where

the pieces came from nor where they should go.

All day I wait for it, the feeling of being lifted

out of my life and placed back in

exactly where I belong.

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Mom picks over the blues to find
the barely discernable line
where sky meets clouds. I push

around the reds of the Indian Paintbrush.
She slides me an odd-shaped piece,
mostly green, with the tiniest ruby tip.

Those, she says, are often the hardest
to find, but make the biggest difference.
We have done this for decades, traded

tessellating bits of flowers or castles
or horses or sky. We have interlocked
the bodies of wolves and assembled

mountains and rivers, all the while chatting back
and forth about whatever subjects rise—
which is often something falling apart,

a dream unmet, a breaking heart.
We always begin with the straight edges,
creating the puzzle’s frame. Perhaps

it’s a comforting pretense—that the world
can be edged in. Tonight, the reds
get the better of me. I can make nothing fit.

I try and retry to piece them together
and the holes and knobs resist. But
our conversation surges on despite my

ineptitude. It blossoms in the puzzles cracks,
all those holes unfilled—our talk spills
across whatever boxes we might want

to catch it in. Our losses and wonders
slip from our lips like the clouds
in this jigsaw scene, from blue into deeper blue.

It all seems the same somehow, the sorrow,
the gladness, the then, the now, the doing,
the not doing, the borders, the holes,

as if we’re all part of an infinite,
uncontrollable, ever-changing weather,
but what do I know of forever.

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