A game of cards—
eyes on the table sneaking past
the watchful discreetness
of each hand holding on
tight to those hidden cards—
dealt, stolen, forged…
Inside it felt as if
something was wrong,
but I kept on
playing anyway.

All the numbers
do not matter;
a great hand is full
of jacks and kings and queens;
aces like veterans clean
and secure the win—
kill all the numbers,
leave some to serve the later king;
undermine the aces,
sacrifice the jacks,
stab the king in the back,
and hijack the queen—
the royal bed is yours,
today, yet
tomorrow it may not be—
you have become the king—

new players lining up
all the way filling the ring
from numbers you left behind;
unappreciated aces who have their eyes,
too, on your queen;
unworthy cards will one day grow—
Glorious Rome was never short
of a cunning Caesar or a Brutus, cowardly
with eyes seeking only vengeance—
a bout is over; another soon begins.

Copyright © 2016 by Danny Ballan. All Rights Reserved.
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