Size / / /

If chess people were

the world, everything

would be checkered.

We would ride checkered

cabs down checkered

streets to arrive at our

checkered assignations.

Maps of our cities

would be truly rectilinear,

numbered and lettered so

there would be no mistakes.

According to your stature,

you could only travel

such rigid grids

in prescribed fashion.

If chess people were

the world, we would be

forever trying to mate

one another with logic

and spurious device,

winning and losing

or calling it a draw.

Some women would be queens,

both swift and extreme

in their influence.

Certain men, in kingly repose,

would expect nothing less

than royal dedication.

Most of us would be pawns,

immured in the fray,

with little hope of

reaching our destinations.

Bruce Boston is the author of forty-seven books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read more about him at and see some of his previous work in our archives.
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