“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” — Friedrich Nietzsche


How do you synthesize what feels like nine lives, consolidate them into one?

Giant-sized puzzles take time to assemble, especially jigsaws with four different

I do plots. Raised in Barbie-Cinderella era, unrealistic narratives


skewed your sense of reality. Grateful for your upbringing, girlhood was cushioned

with advantage: stylish clothing, summer travel, pricey dinners at fancy restaurants.

As if your early story had been written in purple prose. After your father died,


beige replaced purple, perished like winter. Frozen in grief, you opted for new climate.

Mired in make-believe, young adulthood led you to Mexico City, where contrast

offered perspective. Here, you swept carpets with broom, washed clothes


and dishes in makeshift sink, lived sparingly amid abundance of Latin culture.

Like imago, you emerged prematurely from cocoon. For proper development,

wings need stillness, interval. Hurried flight can hinder growth. You’ve childhood


memories of roller coaster, panic, airborne sensations. It’s nearly impossible

to stabilize one’s body with broken lap bar restraint. Perhaps this event

was prophetic in its alarm, for your heart boarded unchecked roller coasters,


where wheels spun on misaligned tracks. Impaired orbits result in whiplash,

muscle tension, and negative g-forces. Yet, the repetition enhanced your courage,

empathy, and positive g-force acceleration, healed any generational transference


of trauma. Grounded in forgiveness and gratitude, like cat, you’ve mastered righting

reflex; like ancient lungfish, you’ve breathed water. Why did you marry all of them?

Are you crazy? Evidently, you’re not neurotypical. Is anyone? Isn’t humanity


mixed bag? Your chaos gave birth to dancing star; after all, the hopeful, idealistic

non-conformist doesn’t abandon the idea of fairy tale endings. Aligned, you ride

smoothly, steer with internal approval, live happily ever after in self-actualization,


for you trust and honor your inner voice. Humankind’s diversity is giant-sized

jigsaw puzzle, where all pieces fit, are created equal. Assembly requires patience,

honesty, and unconditional love.

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JEANNIE E. ROBERTS has authored six books, including The Wingspan of Things (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), Romp and Ceremony (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Beyond Bulrush (Lit Fest Press, 2015), and Nature of it All (Finishing Line Press, 2013). In 2019, her second children's book, Rhyme the Roost! A Collection of Poems and Paintings for Children, was released by Daffydowndilly Press, an imprint of Kelsay Books. She is poetry editor of the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, you can find her drawing and painting, or outdoors photographing her natural surroundings. For more, please visit www.jrcreative.biz/

3 responses to “Coming to Terms with Puzzle, Roller Coaster, and Happily Ever After”

  1. Vickie Skowronski says:

    What an honest, heartfelt poem that eludes freedom for the author. You are springtime now, sweet Jeannie!!

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