A Game I Cannot Win


These days I sense, with growing pain

that life's a game I cannot beat

with every card I seem to gain

I can't achieve the stunning feat


Of putting down a perfect hand;

the cards all seem the same to me,

the more I look and try to land

some on this card-table I see;


For playing cards brings me such pain,

as worries form, begin to lurk;

far in the back end of my brain

pile thoughts from which I cannot shirk.


Then comes the time to set back

down my chosen hand of cut-out

paper men. How I regret

that they have simply lost their clout;


This that drew me in to them,

before this fool's game began.

How clearly do my problems stem

from this ever, oh so clever plan,


I cannot bear a second longer;

the pounding in my ears is stronger.

There is no way to leave, escape,

through doors that used to stand agape,


And lead to places in my mind,

I can't, much longer, seem to find,

within this inferno of squares,

these bits of paper, each declares—


And what? When does the madness cease?

If I relent, if chains release,

Would I just fall down with the rest?

These paper men that I detest?

Who fold their hands, no dignity,

And give in to society?


It seems to be, to my chagrin,

I play a game I cannot win.


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