Clare Rossini

December 21, 2018 Rossini Clare


Where in the world does it fit
This piece, found beneath the couch

In a stubble of dust?
Its blue is dark; its shape, square with two knobby

Appendages. It’s true
We had children over this morning. They romped

And, smiling, showed small teeth, left berries
Rolling on the floor and, in the end, their big, sloppy

Silvery tears splashed everywhere.
Children get it, you know. Crying

As we’d all like to do, wanting as we want
Every puzzle finished, orderly closets

And butterflies back and the weather (dear god!)
To settle down. Piece

By piece, it seems to fall into place,
The days going by, the years, until we wake to find

Something’s missing–
Not hiding beneath the centerpiece (those dowager

Roses!) or slipped beneath a chair.
The child stares furiously at her jigsaw sky

Where what’s lost, perhaps forever,
Leaves behind a square, knobby view

Of scourged veneer,
Chipped and cracked, ghosted with a ring

From some long-ago reveler’s
Goblet of wine.

Clare Rossini has published three books of poems, the first of which won the Akron Poetry Prize.  She recently co-edited an anthology titled The Poetry of Capital (University of Wisconsin, 2020). Her poems have appeared in publications such as Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Plume, and Poetry, as well as in many anthologies, including The Best American Poetry series, in which she’s appeared twice, most recently in 2020.  She has received grants and awards from a variety of organizations, including the State of Connecticut, the Minnesota Arts Board, the Bush Foundation, and the Maxwell Shepherd Foundation; she’s also had residencies at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the American Academy in Rome.