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Game Board - 2016 Poetry Prize Entry

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  • Game Board - 2016 Poetry Prize Entry

    Game Board

    Neat, leafy green square, with play spaces marked out,
    I walk your landscape to see who’s been about,

    Shoelaces waving, wound through backstop links,
    Dads coach daughters’ technique, but miss dugout high jinx,

    College kids at the benches with open laptops,
    High school students, despondent, at the bus stop,

    Leaking lip gloss tube, dropped at the half court,
    By two intense dancers, for whom cheer is not sport.

    Shouts from the corner as kids churn through the sand
    And slide down the tubes toward warm smiles and strong hands,

    Fruit loops in the grass between the palm trees,
    Where moms and young siblings watch the peewees,

    A great scrolling labyrinth made out of leaf piles,
    Crunch through the metaphor for life’s common trials.

    Empty water bottles consumed in the heat,
    Of the intense, shoving soccer game that kicks up each week.

    Scuffs in the dirt where tai chi meets with soft stare,
    Carving contemplations through the open park air.

    Your grid is littered by the remnants of play,
    Recreation and meeting that occur through the day,

    Unlike other games, yours is continuous fun,
    No end point to reach, once play’s begun,

    Winning’s to be with you, and to put time aside,
    We’ll seek renewal and whimsy while it goes to hide,

    Losing’s to miss the sweet magic you bring,
    To everyday life and ordinary things:

    Laughter, hugs, spoofs, frolic, and make believe.
    Transport us…and we drop more than you know by the time that we leave.