No Assembly Required

They arrived in pieces.
Some assembly required.

I was equipped
with a hammer of tough love
a screwdriver of humor
and a pocket full of hope
for nails.

I set to work,
eagerly attempting to
fasten together
shards of glass
which stubbornly splintered
in my hands.

Fragment upon jagged fragment,
multiplying with my frantic effort,
embedding themselves in my palms
and the corners of my eyes.

Microscopic splinters of doubt-
Never should have/
Nothing will ever/
No path forward/
-burrowed deep down into the viscera
of my mind.

I fell to pieces.
Some disassembly required.

Tearing apart my foundation.

Plank.
By.
Plank.

Mother.

Nail.
By.
Nail.

Auntie Kate.

Tile.
By.
Tile.

Baby whisperer.

Screw.
By.
Screw.

Foster parent.

Brick.
By.
Brick.

Called.

Sitting in the rubble.
Clutching worthless tools
Crafted for oaken children
Hewn from a family tree.
Powerless to repair
porcelain.

Now I am

Mastering the art of picking up pieces.
No assembly required.

Rather a balancing act.

Gathering their shards and my rubble
a handful, a pinch, a sliver
at a time.
And then
carefully, slowly
Ever. So. Gently.
Perching one carefully chosen piece
atop the last
we build.
Steadying our hands
and taming our breath
so as not to topple
this tenuous tower.

2 comments

  1. So love-tender and heart-felt and soul-piercing. I needed these words today. Thank you, sweet Kate.

    On Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 6:16 PM A Softer Shade of Red wrote:

    > A Softer Shade of Red posted: “They arrived in pieces. Some assembly > required. I was equipped with a hammer of tough love a screwdriver of humor > and a pocket full of hope for nails. I set to work, eagerly attempting to > fasten together shards of glass which stubbornly splintered in m” >

    Like

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