Friday, 30 July 2021

1000 Puzzle Pieces

by Judith Michaels Safford

Beware! when you enter the Library,
it might change your life forever,
chew up all your beliefs you didn’t even know
you had and spit you out into
a 1000 puzzle pieces

And you will need another book
to demonstrate how to bypass
all those failed king’s horses and
king’s men.

A small eighth of an inch inconspicuous
royal blue and gold book jammed in the
poetry section cataloged 891.5 begins
to vibrate, “Take me, take me”
and you do because it is so noisy.

Remember tears that well up when someone
throws a word that hurts like
a dart in the heart?

And how strange that tears do the same
when a genuine remark confirms
your worthiness.

The title of the tiny book almost broke
the Library silence. “I Heard God Laughing”
Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky.
You check it out and put it deep into your book bag
to honor the quiet patrons.

At home, you step mindfully over puzzle pieces,
once yourself, lying lifeless in every room.
Carefully pealing each poetry page open, as if it was
a band-aid being slowly removed, hoping to
be less painful – which never really works.

This tiny, inconspicuous book contains words
like: My Dear One, Sweetheart, and Beloved.
Yes, they open the dam – the flood-gate
into this dry parched, scattered one.

It becomes a magnet.
The puzzle pieces begin to gather in small
clusters behind doors whispering,
“Do you feel that pull?’ They open the
treasure chest of protective armor and begin
choosing their weapons.

One by one their numbers decrease in the
darkness of the night  – resistance diminishes as they
hear –  God – laughing –
“Come Dance With Me.
Come Dance With Me.”
They laugh. They dance.

Their weapons now lay useless in the
once treasured chest.
Just in case you forget to laugh or dance one day
the book is in the Library
poetry section 891.5.
And beware!

* * * * *

In 2006, Judith Michaels Safford discovered a radio program on writing poetry. She mustered up the courage to press the send button. The invitation to read her words opened a door that had not previously existed. Judith self-published her memoir in 2009. Don’t Sell Your Soul, Memoir of a Guru Junkie. Her second book, Joyful Surrender, A pilgrimage, is a book of prayer poems. She has shared her poetry with many fellow poets as featured reader and at open mic in Silver City, NM, Her home is in Glenwood, New Mexico.

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