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poetry Pieces

A surprise turn at the end of Donna Pucciani’s poem, “Pieces,” will shock the reader to consider how sheer evil has eroded our society.


By Donna Pucciani


The jigsaw is missing one piece.

It is quickly recovered from the rug

patterned with peacock-feathered swirls.

The puzzle, broken, boxed up

with a happy reluctance,  

will be stored safely in some closet,

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to be retrieved and resuscitated bit by bit

one night in December when snow piles up

and the moon drifts in and out of the lamplight.

Today I dropped a glass in the kitchen.

An heirloom, a pink wineglass,

stemmed, stenciled. It had aged well,

as had all the ruby reds it held through the years,

as had my great-grandmother, who had willed me

the now-broken vessel. I remember

her thin rounded shoulders,

her hair caught up in a grey chignon,

her spectacles focused on the book

she was reading to me in the frayed photo,

my black-and-white treasure.

I swept up the shards, with regret

but no distress. To age over time

seems the natural order of things.

But this—

this is not the natural order of things—

pieces of children

strewn on a classroom floor.

Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in Poetry Salzburg, ParisLitUp, Meniscus, Shi Chao Poetry, Journal of Italian Translation, Agenda, Stand, and others. Her work has been translated into Italian, Chinese, Japanese and German. She has been nominated numerous times for the Pushcart Prize and has won awards from the Illinois Arts Council, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Poetry on the Lake, and other organizations. Her seventh and most recent book of poems is Edges.