It's pieces scattered over the floor like a shattered star
slivers thick and pointed,
shards slender and poison-sharp.
But once I knew, once I saw the pieces glittering disrupted light,
I began to act.
I scuttled here, shuffled there,
gathering pieces, collecting splinters
until my arms began to bleed and my mind spun.
'You can't do it' some internal voice accused me.
'You'll never be able to gather them all!'
And still I tried, driven by fear,
fear of what I would be: undone, incomplete.
I tried to glue the pieces together
and attempted to rebuild the glass.
My grip trembled, the shards slipped, my fingers pricked
and the more jagged edges I gathered
the more pain I felt.
'Broken!' the internal echo blamed.
'Broken. Sweep it up, give up now...'
But, as I crouched over the dimming slivers
and failure leaned around me like a cast-off glove,
I felt, rather than heard, an opposition answer
'Stop. Wait. Be still'
And without my failing strength of will
I saw disgrace stand and turn away,
its grip undone, its curse removed.
Before my hands could make another try
two slices of reflecting glass were gathered up
and slowly merged.
Their edges joined, the crack dissolved.
Broken made whole without my frantic intervention.
Now I find myself among the shards,
tiptoeing round ungathered pieces.
I watch their slivers claim the light
as if it belonged to them,
and was ordained for their distribution.
Oh, yes, the glass remains a shattered mess.
The wholeness promised yet undone.
But when it restoration is complete, in final peaceful beauty,
it will be a work I cannot claim
and the blooded palms no longer mine.
© Penny Reeve 2014