a game well played by William Joel

A game well played

Question sits
in a straight-back chair,
calm, staring, offering
not a blessed word
or hoped-for hint of where
to start, as if (as if) to say,
“the answer’s easy-peasy,”
which (of course) it’s not,
but what the answer is (or isn’t)
begs yet another question;
there isn’t time (or care)
to contemplate
as counted seconds tick.

Toss in the towel
Hang up your gloves
Step off the merry-go-round
Let the parade pass you by

No way out
No easy exit
You must pass Go,
Accept your dollars
Give in, so easy
and just as hard

Board remains mid-game,
always; they’re waiting for our move.

This is where we are, here
and not inside a mirror
looking out.
Right is right.
Left is left.
They’ve not been reversed.

Whichever piece we choose,
or where it’s placed, will speak
our lines, the ones we wrote
on papers rolled inside our pockets.

© 2016 William Joel


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William J. Joel has been a poet, storyteller and educator for many, many years. Most recently, his work has been accepted for publication in Chronogram, Aunt Chloe and Wolf Moon Journal. In addition to adult poetry, he has written works for children. Since 2008, he has been Contributing Editor for three issues of Appleseeds.


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