Missing Pieces

‎Originally posted on Friday, ‎May ‎13, ‎2011, ‏‎11:10:00 AM

This poem won the Popular Prize in July of 2010 through the Poetry Society of Texas. It was first published in Collections I, an anthology of the 2011 Merging Visions Exhibit. [Note: This poem has also been read by narrator Xe Sands. Click here to listen to the audio recording.]

Missing Pieces

When I was growing up,
you were always whole unto yourself,
just Dad,
complete because you were alive
and I could observe you in front of me:
hear you, touch you,
and see that there were no pieces missing.

But now you’re scattered
as surely as your ashes,
and I am left a collector of you—
a puzzle maker—
trying to gather and fit together
the pieces of who you were.

Years after moving away, I am still unpacking
boxes that hide secret remnants of you,
and I can’t let go,
for the memories I’ve written
are grown old, and stagnant poems
are not enough
to make you whole again.

© Annie Neugebauer Tilton. All rights reserved.

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