The Puzzle

by Harriet Stratton

       …what draws itself apart pulls itself together.

Mother sits just where I left her
before the visits stopped—

at the jigsaw table. She puzzles
over small shapes scattered like shards

before her. The big picture, propped,
offers color and pattern clues,

the comfort of familiar objects,
a postcard from the past.  She’s trying

to piece it all together. That’s the game.
That’s always been the game

and her game, at age 96, is persistence, intention,
not dwelling on how it all came apart.

Harriet Stratton, the teenager, loved poetry but studied, practiced and taught Fine Arts. Once retired, she re-embraced her first love and joined the Poetry Collective of Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. She’s published a number of poems in local literary journals but remains proudest of a protest poem in The Colorado Independent.  She lives on the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Art by Karyn Kloumann, founder of award-winning indie publisher Nauset Press.