Finding the Lego


by Maryann Corbett

You find it when you’re tearing up your life,
trying to make some sense of the old messes,
moving dressers, peering under beds.
Almost lost in cat hair and in cobwebs,
in dust you vaguely know was once your skin,
it shows up, isolated, fragmentary.
A tidy little solid. Tractable.
Knobbed to be fitted in a lock-step pattern
with others. Plastic: red or blue or yellow.
Out of the dark, undamaged, there it is,
as bright and primary colored and foursquare
as the family with two parents and two children
who moved in twenty years ago in a dream.
It makes no allowances, concedes no failures,
admits no knowledge of a little girl
who glared through tears, rubbing her slapped cheek.
Rigidity is its essential trait.
Likely as not, you leave it where it was.

About the Author:


Maryann Corbett is the author of three books of poetry and two chapbooks. Her most recent book, Mid Evil, won the Richard Wilbur Award and will be published by The Evansville Press later this year. Her work has appeared in a range of anthologies from the randy Hot Sonnets to the reverent Imago Dei, and in a like range of journals including both Christianity and Literature and The Shit Creek Review. Recent work appears in Barrow Street and Southwest Review and is forthcoming in Rattle and Asheville Poetry Review, among others. Her web site is at

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 2013 by Maryann Corbett, from her most recent book of poems, Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter, Able Muse Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Maryann Corbett and the publisher.

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