Often when her house is tidy
with the floors all clean and swept
she will slip into a back room
where the broken things are kept.
There she stands amid the clutter
of the puzzles, games and dolls
feels an inner sadness welling
as the tears begin to fall
on her knees to sort and gather –
finds a Ken who has no arms
someone’s pulled the head off Barbie
here’s a bracelet with no charms.
Dolly’s buggy wheel is missing
puzzle pieces need a frame
happy endings ripped from stories
dice and tokens but no game.
So she gathers parts and pieces
seeking one or two to fit.
But the chaos is too hopeless.
How does she make sense of it?
Then she feels the gentle presence
of His hands upon her own.
They are putting things together
better than she’s ever done.
There’s a piece – it goes with this one
here’s an arm, a leg, a face
there’s the ending of a story
here’s a picture of that place.
Oh how fast an hour passes
as they put a few things right
she may come again tomorrow
even slip back in tonight.
There is still so much to sort through.
Will she ever get it done?
“Do not fret my child, I’ll help you.
You and I have well begun.”
© 2009 by Violet Nesdoly
I was reminded of this poem earlier in the week when I listened to 100 Huntley Street’s Magdalen John interviewing Justin Bieber’s mother (Pattie Malette). She told the story of a dream she had, where she was supposed be cleaning a house. Each room was the room of a girl of a different age, but they were all hopelessly messy with toys, pizza boxes, clothes etc. up to the knees. She didn’t know where to start.
On waking, she realized that she was the girl whose rooms she was to clean, and the mess was the confusion of all the stages of her growing up. It was a touching interview and hearkened me back to Fran whose life was similarly shadowed by a painful and confusing childhood, and this poem I wrote thinking of her. (The poem is published in the MSA Poets Potpourri 2009 anthology, River of Words.)
This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by the wonderful children’s poet Laura Salas atWriting the World for Kids.