Katherine Duffy

3 Poems

Fitting the Picture

                           A thousand pieces.
                           I start at the edge,
                           add lintel to jamb, make
                           space to press
                           odd shapes into what’s missing.

                                                      Two bikes, one blue,
                                                      one red, rest
                                                      on a bridge over a canal
                                                      at sunset
                                                      in a city I’ve been to
                                                      once or twice.

                 Front wheels confer, Venn-style,
                 maybe sharing notes
                 on wind and weight,
                 a subset of fears:
                 broken glass, rust’s bite.

I devote myself to detail,
kneel to it: assured curve of wheel,
the handlebars’ ironic tilt.
The easy bits.

                             In the distance, sun
                             seeps into the trees, making it
                             hard to figure out where
                             the leaves belong.
                             There’s a quiet to the work that fits

the general picture.
Weeks later, when it’s done,
I angle my phone over it all
like an awning,
show it to a friend on Zoom.

                                           Hers is an underwater scene:
                                           dark seas,
                                           dolphins with inhuman,
                                           tantalising smiles.
                                           She says it reminds her of her dreams.



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