#freewrite: checkmate

ca. 1320-1200 B.C. --- Fresco Painting of Nefertari Playing Senet --- Image by © Gianni Dagli Orti/CORBIS

i’ve never been enough
you keep me wrapped in child’s play
constantly checking for new games on the defensive
i sit on the fences
counting the ways i wish you would change

i wanted to be better not bitter

i’ve always been your open book
with simple moves
but instead of playing house
you built castles with rooks
leaving this queen unguarded and defeated
leaving me empty in a game incomplete until
i picked up the broken pieces
refused to be your pawn showing weakness

i am more goddess than Caïssa
more modest than should be an originator
i just chose to see through what only you could leave stale
don’t ever think i missed your moves illegal
my strategy is more than lethal
but i
i could never pray for your demise
so i check you as no longer my mate
and wait
for the sun to rise

© 2012 s. harmon

originally written as a guest spoken word feature for a song describing an artist’s struggle in the music industry.

the artist’s manager, however, said it wasn’t clear that i was using chess to achieve this. hmm. as a poet, i thought allusion and alliteration were important, but what do you think?