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My Life as a Puzzle by Amber McGlothlin

I approach my memories as a bewildering task,
Sorting through these pieces of my life
In a pile of curves and notches
Because straight lines don’t feel right to me
I see the corner where I was born
And all the fragmented edges of my childhood
Here, they end abruptly
Where my oldest was born
Broken in places, and rough on the edges
But strong and resilient
And here is each little one after that,
Sequentially more whole and smooth
I was better suited to the task then
Here is where my father died
And all these pieces are me missing him every day
Here is where I risked everything for love, and lost
And here is where my heart is broken
But this piece changes shape, and grows smaller with the times
And here is where I loved best
Because here is where I found you
See where you are born
And all the pieces leading up to our meeting here in the middle
And how everything fits in place around the piece that is us
See how you make the picture brighter?
And here in this pile, these pieces are blank
They are all the years ahead of us
And here you are sitting down with me
Helping me sort through
Our life as a puzzle
Our picture becoming complete 

Amber McGlothlin lives in the Northern Virginia suburbs near Washington DC with her husband and four of their combined five children.  Her work has been featured on multiple websites, and in two anthologies.  You can read more of her writing at