by Shawn Allen


Dumped from the box

Onto the floor

Even the straight edges

Have no connection

To anything real.

Random scraps of cardboard,

Sharp, like razors,

Become salvation.

There can be no leaving the puzzle,

No escape, until it is complete.

To the child

Who can’t see the edges,

Through the tears,

Distracted by the colors,

Unable to perceive the whole,

Each piece placed where it belongs

Does nothing to heal.

Love becomes a jigsaw:

Contradictions that do not fit,

Emotions that never make sense.

Years later, placing the pieces –

Meaningless bits of something greater –

Searching for a clear image

Becomes obsession

Just to prove he can

Until the fingers bleed

And each jigsaw completed

Brings no comfort.

Scattered and fragmented

Sitting in isolation

Love still refuses to come together

Into a simple, single picture.