The porous bag sliced through.
Sediment gathered in the corners.
We upend the pieces into the lid and bottom.
We shift through them, panning for edges, corners.
We kneel on the green felt kings use to play chess and
peer at each piece; inscrutable, divine, mysterious.
The gradations, lines, shadings, out of place –
the edges connect, the real work begins.
Some pieces fit easily, naturally,
matching colours, patterns, cross-hatchings,
letters, body parts, shapes: others
we come back to again and again –
resurfacing in the shoggled box like a guilty secret,
a prick of conscience, a broken promise –
a piece of cloud, a shadow, a joining piece –
rotated, beleaguered, threatened, coaxed.
It refuses to fit in any one place but its place.
It niggles, annoys, frustrates, creates
false hope of victory, until –
suddenly it clicks – that little cloud,
that shadow – there, there, there!
It fits, slips in among the other shapes,
glides and drops, first time.
The shape, complete.
And now, finished, it lies ignored.
Now, accepted, it attracts no attention.
Now, in its place, all mystery lost
(published in Irish Times, 25th July, 2015)
Aoife Lyall is an Irish poet living in Scotland. Her work has appeared in the Irish times and The Poets’ Republic, and is forthcoming in The Stinging Fly and Northwords Now. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Writing Award 2016, she is currently writing her first collection. Twitter @PoetLyall