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Published on: 12/19/2005
Her hair is air-spun candy, white;
Cat's-eye glasses curl across her wrinkled face.
Her bent body bends over a flowered puzzle;
Nervous, crooked fingers try this piece here,
But it doesn't fit, so they try again somewhere else.
She says, "No, I guess it don't quite go there.
"It looks like it just might go, but it don't fit there.
See, there's those little specks of white.
I reckon I'll just have to try it some place else."
I wonder if a raisin has more wrinkles than Grandma's face.
"You pull up a chair, help me. Sit right here.
Let's sit and talk, fix this thing up purty, this puzzle."
I have never understood the intricacies of a jigsaw puzzle.
"That's right, sit down. See if this blue will go there.
This one's hard -- too much blue. No? Try it here.
Let's see, over there on that mountain's some white..."
In fifty years will I have the same intent face?
She says, "Mary and Bill have to move somewhere else,
"You know. Moving all those kids is something else.
Well now, I've been working two days on this puzzle.
Before this I did one of a doll with rosebuds on her face.
Why, lookathere! You got all those to fit in right there!
All that blue. And those clouds -- so much white.
When it's like that you just have to guess which one goes here."
Sometimes I wonder why I bother to visit her here.
I ask, "Is there anything you want to do? Something else?"
And I've struck a nerve. Attacked, her face grows white.
"No, no. I don't got nowhere else to go. Let's just do this puzzle."
Time runs on ahead, and I forget how long I've been there.
I'm glad to see the calmness now resting on her face.
She calls me Ann, not paying attention to my face.
I have come more often than Ann, come often and sat here.
"I guess you heard Mary and Bill are moving from out there.
They've got to go in June, move all those kids to someplace else."
I can't listen, concentrate instead on working the puzzle.
Try a blue piece -- but, no, the mountain top is white.
She looks at my face, surprised, "Oh, you're somebody else!
How long you been sitting here? I've been working a puzzle.
You can help; sit there." Someday my hair will be white.
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