Jigsaw Puzzle

In total chaos
A thousand piece spread
overturned, strewn, piece upon piece
Reds, violets, white against black
Senseless, meaningless
No magical code to make them whole
Except for the fitting of piece into piece.

The formation of the border, the first glimmer of hope
Four quartered corners, strategically placed
While in the center
A mountainous mass
Saved for the coming
Of the final score.

Fingers searching, pushing, forcing
Piece into piece for a whole among parts.
The edges sharp into the smooth,
The curvatures small for a clutching fit.
The turning, twisting, tossing trials
For one sudden fit of a connecting cry.
Sometimes a fit irrationally found
Just by staring
At one little piece.

Edge against edge, mounts into shape;
Piece into piece, the center grows
From border to mass, a disappearing space,
The external shine bruised by handling,
A final whole after the parts
By one little piece of insignificant form
Snugly pushed for the resurrected whole.

(from The Path of Butterflies 1976)

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