THE GEM 20 JUNE 2015 : I love you more than songs can say, but I can’t keep running after yesterday.

THE GEM 20 JUNE 2015


― John Mayer, John Mayer – Battle Studies

1 goodbye browniesbogles00guinuoft_0175

Family history

For years you search, persuaded
the blank spaces in the jigsaw
can be filled by pieces
lying on the table.

You comb dictionaries looking
for the word, eight letters,
second one a D, so 7 down fits
in the mortise cut on 12 across.

You twist the cube to make
the green face green, the blue all blue,
but a pesky yellow chip
always turns up in one corner.

At last, you realise
that what you hold is not
a jigsaw, cube or crossword
but a faded photograph –
crinolines and waistcoats –
the heads of him and her,
top right, torn off.

Defeated, you concede
the missing corner long ago
slipped down in the dust
behind a chest of drawers
in a house abandoned.

–Bob Morrow

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