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Putting Together the Pieces

I choose
an easier puzzle
this year,
one that I can
complete before the close
of the retreat--
the annual pilgrimage
of silence,
alone time,
that marks the onset
of Lent for me--
even if I start late.

A couple leaves
the room
for the side porch
as rain tiptoes
with long nails
on the roof.
He holds open
the leather satchel
and she places
the split logs
together that bring
in the fuel
for the fire
that is cracking
its own rendering.
I smile in their
direction
and return
to the box
of pieces
in my lap,
stirring them
with my fingers
like pebbles
in a stream,
or ashes
in the hearth,
looking for flecks
of gold,
or the ring of
a small cast iron
top to the
headless poker
that came unscrewed.
Searching for
the straight edge
or piece of fence
that will frame
this moment
that becomes more
illusive
the more the border
is complete.

11 Mar 00


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