The Game

involves balance and not stepping
on the cracks.  It involves a blank sheet
of paper and folding it to make a bird
in flight.  After that there is juggling
with two bean bags and three
oranges.  Because it is a game of skill
and chance, there are dice.  It is
a game for one person,  though
there may be others in the room.
The game can include tokens, which
often depict the heads of animals:
I have seen a dolphin, an Egyptian cat,
elephants and snakes: these days
an avatar is commonly used.  You will be judged
by the one you choose.  Do not play
if you are shy; do not play if
you do not have the right equipment.
There are colours in the game,
more than you can cope with, including
a kind of ultraviolet, at the far end
of the spectrum where bees see.
A result is when the bird has soared,
the dice long lost, and you are still in it.

uncollected poem: Jo Shapcott 2018, used by permission of the author

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