Puzzling Through the Possibilities
The clue seemed so simple:
“Rossini’s William Tell and others”
Overtures even fit.
But the crosses didn’t work.
What word meaning “unprepared” begins with “nu?”
As I puzzled through the possibilities,
it occurred to me that
a writer feels this same frustration
as she reaches for the right word,
the clearest meaning,
so often just beyond her grasp.
Aren’t we all really just searching for that missing piece?
The one that clicks into place?
When we find it, it’s often a surprise.
And better than we ever dreamt.
© Catherine Flynn, 2013
The idea for this poem came from a journal entry I wrote in response to one of Corbett Harrison’s “Sacred Writing Time” prompts. When my colleagues and I were working on our writing curriculum, we began each day by writing for ten minutes. On this particular day, the slide stated that “dreamt” is the only word in the English language that ends with “mt.” As a Scrabble player and crossword puzzle lover, this intrigued me. So I wrote about filing this tidbit away, thinking it would come in handy as I was “puzzling through the possibilities” when solving a puzzle. Right away, I noticed this phrase. I loved the alliteration and the potential it contained. So I began playing with ideas. I’m still puzzling over this draft; I’m not sure the middle flows as well as it could, but I’ve had fun working on it.
By the way, the Rossini clue is from the New York Times Sunday puzzle from August 25, 2013, constructed by Victor Barocas.
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