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For My Godfather

by Alison Quinn, 2024

The keen golden-silver blades

of my old uncle’s fine scissors

point eagerly forward

as I trace and cut out

puppets for the children.


How many times he must have

held these gleaming handles,

eased and smiled

as his own stellar scenes

were outlined, clipped into view,

pointing to friends and fellows,

while the strewn-muddled

broadsheets edging his life

fell far from his thoughts.


A luminous hold he gifted me

as he celebrated my childhood

and cherished my growing character,

teaching me the essence of

holding on to scenes of beauty or meaning,

and to the juxtaposition of colors,

and to the coexistence of bewilderment and treasure.


This treasure of his legacy in my hand

outlines the drive to find and form

and reveals a rare tableau

of clarity and grace.

For even when ragged edges remain,

shadows and fringes can be strong.

His absolute love shapes me still.