A wizened weary woman
Rocks and hums in a rickety wicker chair,
Cloaked in crimson.
Cloaked in heavy crimson,
She hunches over a puzzle on her blanketed lap,
A puzzle of pieces,
Scattered on deep blue velvet.
She pushes the pieces around,
All tattered and faded,
All weathered and worn,
The bones in her fingers
Protruding through papery skin,
And crinkling crisply with each careful movement.
She hums. A slow, deep, familiar tune
That seems to come from somewhere else,
Somewhere other than her wrinkled, wispy throat,
It sounds so far away.
The creaking of her chair and its rhythmic rocking,
The haunting humming, they merge.
A sound like the ground is rumbling, moving, shifting.
Around her in the darkness, a swirl of lovely little lights
Dance then dart into the puzzle,
Pictures of people,
Faces smiling, laughing.
They bathe the old woman in their warm glow.
Still more lights, green and ghostly,
Fly from the puzzle,
From faces lost and crying, dying.
They fly into her eyes,
Dissolved into the milky whites
Of eyes that do not see,
But do reflect
Each soul that dances on the board beneath them.
A tree comes crashing down in a wild, wild wind,
A horse gallops, fast through a black forest,
The ocean surges, saltwater splashing her fingertips.
All things exist in these tattered and faded puzzle pieces,
All things are hers to order and arrange.
And she shivers in her heavy crimson blanket,
And she draws it close around her shoulders,
And drags the pieces around the velvet board,
And fits the pieces together.