An Ode to Dice~ by William Rayst
Swords break and cannons miss but dice
never fail and you can bet and I often do
that a number will always come up,
maybe mine, maybe not,
it’s what it’s all about, taking a chance, risking
it all on the turn of two lumps of plastic
adorned with the answer to my question:
Win or lose?
Save the random number generators
for the Lotto because I can feel the dice’s
power in my hand, under my control and eager to serve,
letting me vanquish dragons, pass Go, or make groupies
of desperate strangers around the busy craps table when
I’m on a winning streak and my ego bolstered from too
many watereddown scotches.
I blow on the dice for luck, plead with them to keep me
in the game, or pray with transient devotion to them
like they were some mystical conduit to the Gods of Chance
to let me roll boxcars, but nobody does every time,
so I pray harder.
With each roll I get a result that combines the force
of my toss with the laws of motion and gravity and the friction
between the dice and the air pushed aside with indifference
and the felt on the table spread out like a lush green runway
for all my hopes and desires to land safely at Gate Number 12.
My dice are loaded
with promise, as they fit snug in my hand, ready to flip
from my fingers like a coin but with more possibilities.
My friends make fun of my dice,
but I never make fun of my friends,
because they let me reroll the die
that rolled off the table
because it’s a house rule at my house
and games have rules
because they paid for the takeout pizza
that they ate with their dicefree hands
because I only got one slice
before the dice made their way around
the table to where I sit waiting for someone
to say those three little words that I long to hear:
“It’s your roll.”
@William Rayst 2013
Bio: William Rayst is a Columbus, Ohio writer who creates poetry, fiction, and practical non-fiction. He is an active member of the Columbus writing group, Creative Minds Collective, and transforms himself into a writing juggernaut each November for Nanowrimo.