Jigsaw

I.

I open the lid

and my breath speeds ragged,

seas stormed by discontent. So many

pieces – why so many pieces? – and

why so many shades of blue? No one needs

that much sky, I think as I start to sort.

 

Everyone knows you find the edge pieces first

and build in, first the skin and then the heart,

but I can’t find them all in the tangle

of chaos heaped discordant, their absence loud

in the landscape.

 

II.

The box boasts Italian villas, a Mediterranean

masterpiece of  idyllic days. It hurts, this beauty.  It

scorns the doctors, scorns those tired

eyes which peer over masks to discern who

of the twenty will benefit

most from the single ventilator that can be

spared tonight.

 

The bits of colour on my table

are lost in that steady rush of feet and again I wonder,

why so much sky? My hands tremble

and I lose hope – I cannot make this

make sense.

 

III.

Tears brim and wash images clean.

I blink. Is that

a pattern in the stones, a barely perceptible

shift from dark to light just there, in

the bottom left corner? Pieces find shelter in

limestone.  A new thought forms in

the shadows  –

perhaps this much sky is necessary to breathe

in a world full of rocks.

 

Perhaps my eyes are too small,

too human to see the bigger picture;

I step back and

close them in prayer

and my lungs are filled with blue. I breathe,

in and out, slow and big;  I hear

what the jigsaw has to say in the silence.

 

IV.

The construction of a life

is always messy; a chaos of constant

attention to details that

puzzle and elude. There will always be too many

pieces, and so much awful sky – but the blue

is meant to be inhaled deep in faith,

exhaled in mystical prayer over Italian villas

while eyes remain fixed on the box lid. I need to memorize

the villas in all their glory: they will be beautiful

again after the ventilators forget how to

hum.

 

V.

I am alone in the quiet. I search;

there, a smudge of the right kind of blue – bright,

not muted or mixed with gray or green. I smile

and set the piece into place,

a prayer in itself.  Now I can breathe;

I work steadily from the edge in,

first the skin and then the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year’s Prayer

frozen moon

 

Just enough raindrops to plant your hope deep,

Just enough losses to learn what to keep;

Just enough chaos to drive you to prayer,

Just enough failure to need Jesus there;

Just enough courage to hold your head high,

Just enough valleys to covet the sky;

Just enough sunshine to process the pain,

Just enough dying to rise up again.

Bedtime Ritual

summer sunset

 

Sunlight yawns and sighing, dons a cloudy negligée,

Tired trees tucked by the breeze fold leafy limbs to pray;

Sky surveys through rainbow haze as God turns out the light,

Day descends, and as she bends, she kisses me goodnight.

Just Breathe

fuzzyweed.jpg

Air so cold

it chatters

terrified

in pale lungs

sinks Arctic

anchors deep,

permafrost

of the soul,

robs senses

of the choice

to exhale –

prayer bursts its

irons, breath

warmed by hope,

cold’s power

vaporized.

Stained Am I

lilyspots.jpg

 

Stained am I, and streaked

by this palsy, pollen-spots

falling as table-scraps onto

purity’s napkin. Holy

rain, wash my hands,

my feet, my heart, that

I would bloom beauty

in shades of redemption,

where mercy meets

malfeasance with a

gown white as snow.

Genuflection

peony.jpg

 

She bends,

broken;

life has stripped

all illusory

.

power and prestige

from bandaged

eyes. She knows

now how poor,

.

blind, pitiful

and naked

she has been all

along. So

.

she does

what she should have

done long ago –

genuflects.