the last time I saw a puzzle
spread out across the table
was at my mother’s apartment
some time after my dad died
we sat across from each other

she and I like we did when I was
in high school each of us choosing
a section the picture to complete
but we never kept to ourselves
it was easier to find her piece

than it was to see mine it seemed
or perhaps it was the way she said
my name in fake disgust when I
said “I think this fits right in there”
last night I started a puzzle that

Ginger gave me seven years to the
day that Mom went into hospice
and I flew to Texas to sit
with her as she played her last piece
confident that everything fit

the image I am trying to
put together is a VW bus
(she knows I’ve always wanted one)
set in a winter scene of trees
lights wild life and wooden fences

some pieces shout their connection
while others are more shy and wait
to fit in until I give them
the opportunity leaving
scattered shapes left lost and alone

but I will find where they belong
the pieces will fall into place
you know life is not that easy
but maybe that is the good news
life is nothing like a puzzle


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  1. But then there is a problem when the last piece is missing and you search and search and accuse the cat and the kids and two years later you find it hiding in the corner behind the hutch!
    Cats like to keep one’s puzzling interesting.
    I suspect someone will be helping you keep the pieces in order so they find their place. I hope you post a picture of the vw bus when you finish it.

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