the child, busied, deep in thought
took the pieces one by one
fitting each to images
as the puzzle’s box had done

nothing in the task itself
seemed to him to be much fun
past thought of finishing
something he had first begun

eyes kept steady on a prize
pictured by most everyone
down the well-worn path went he
past each rising, setting sun

till the pieces all were placed
and the man, now left with none
saw a picture, not his own
sensed a prize he’d lost, not won


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