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The Jigsaw

for Sarah Davis


The portrait of the princess lies

In scattered fragments on the floor;

Crouched over them a young girl tries

Edges that would not fit before,


That sulk recalcitrant . . . ah there

Two pieces kiss:  a greyish mass

That could be clouds or that patch where

Her dress half hides the shadowed grass.


The afternoon wears on:  she sifts

And sorts; a piece is placed, withdrawn;

She sits up suddenly and lifts

Impatient arms.  A stifled yawn.


And stoops again.  Here no one wins,

It is a world you make and enter.

The edge is finished now begins

The serious business of the center.


A face emerges and young hands

Lie loose against grey silk; the eyes

Are guileless:  almost there, she stands

Bent slightly forward in surprise.


Dick Davis



From The Covenant, Anvil Press, 1984.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Karen S. Nicholas

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