In his eighth year, it was the jigsaw. Several pieces were quickly lost. The key on the box: a marsh, a barn, white sky; familiar scene of Midwestern winter. Geese flew in all directions out the corner of his eyes.
Inching closer, smelling weightlessness in the four am air. A shot fired, order becomes chaos. Take flight in all directions. The immaculate hunter, he can hear the cry of the gosling as he slits its throat.
The snow is falling, erratically. It is falling, again; he wonders why his parents frown when he returns from school. Rusted industry. The snow on the window mimics the television screen. The puzzle pieces are stuck together,
sticky, like syrup. Sticky, but they are constantly slipping from his hands. Matches are held to make hands serviceable. On the playground, teachers pull him aside, and ask, Where are your papers? Where did you leave them?
He cannot remember. The geese have fallen into the snow, confused and drunk on red wine. They were pure in their falling. Educated people pull him aside. This time there are no questions. There are orange pills,
the color of safety or danger. The color one wears to avoid being shot. One shot is all it takes to fall. The snow stops. He is content to sit with his jigsaw and tune the TV, a reflection of geese flying on the screen.