puzzle pieces at the 7-11
It is a stop for gas, a restroom, a bottle of water. The cars seem oversized, the drivers
focused but distant. The temperature is climbing toward 95 degrees; the asphalt
undulates with heat. The smell of French fries spills from a nearby McDonald’s. We
could be anywhere. We are in Idaho or Utah. We are in an alternate universe that is
these mountains, this interstate, this time zone. And then I am looking down at my feet,
where four pieces of a jigsaw puzzle are scattered. They are faded, frayed at the edges
where the exhaust from countless travelers has touched the cardboard. I imagine
a child in some backseat miles from here is wondering where the remainders are,
the ones that would complete the picture in her lap. Don’t worry, I want to tell her.
And I put them in my pocket, because you never know.