We put the puzzle together piece
by piece, loving how one curved
notch fits so sweetly with another.
A yellow smudge becomes
the brush of a broom, and two blue arms
fill in the last of the sky.
We patch together porch swings and autumn
trees, matching gold to gold. We hold
the eyes of deer in our palms, a pair
of brown shoes. We do this as the child
circles her room, impatient
with her blossoming, tired
of the neat house, the made bed,
the good food. We let her brood
as we shuffle through the pieces,
setting each one into place with a satisfied
tap, our backs turned for a few hours
to a world that is crumbling, a sky
that is falling, the pieces
we are required to return to.
-Dorianne Laux, Poetry 180
There you are, exhausted from a night of crying, curled up on the couch, the floor, at the foot of the bed, anywhere you fall you fall down crying, half amazed at what the body is capable of, not believing you can cry anymore. And there they are, his socks, his shirt, your underwear and your winter gloves, all in a loose pile next to the bathroom door, and you fall down again. Someday, years from now, things will be different, the house clean for once, everything in its place, windows shining, sun coming in easily now, sliding across the high shine of wax on the wood floor. You’ll be peeling an orange or watching a bird spring from the edge of the rooftop next door, noticing how, for an instant, its body is stopped on the air, only a moment before gathering the will to fly into the ruff at its wings and then doing it: flying. You’ll be reading, and for a moment there will be a word you don’t understand, a simple word like now or what or is and you’ll ponder over it like a child discovering language. “Is,” you’ll say over and over until it begins to make sense, and that’s when you’ll say it, for the first time, out loud: He’s dead. He’s not coming back. And it will be the first time you believe it.