The pieces of a jigsaw puzzle
lie scrambled on a table
in the waiting room
of the cancer center:
shades of white, pink, lavender
that combine somehow
to depict four masked revelers
at Mardi Gras.

Patients and others who wait
stop and try this one here,
try that one there,
occasionally extracting a match
from the pools of similarly grouped,
similarly colored jagged pieces
that seem to multiply like bad cells.

The box lid stands as a testament
to how things should be.
After a week or so
the frame is complete
and one half-faced reveler peers back.
Around the corner
the celebration continues:
the partiers sit in a circle
trying to put find pieces
of lives newly shattered while
tubes of clear liquid drip hope.


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