THE STEPPINGSTONES TO GO
Quiescent but for the occasional flutter
of cover and verso in the uneasy air,
Steppingstones To Go, a pamphlet of diagrams,
yellows beneath the garden sun.
Somewhere, someone must have won,
otherwise Shigemi Kishikawa
would not have taken such pains.
But this board sits just
half-covered, and the white pebbles still
have some kind of out.
Whether this copy is from London, Zurich, Melbourne, or Rutland
is impossible to tell,
nor from it can I judge
whether Black or White commands the surface—
though I suspect the darker mass
is in control.
I sense this is a serious conflict,
yet inside I know
that if these players had to
had some other thing to
they will never be of timeless purpose
nor know the game
as anything but a game,
and this meticulously inked Eastern grid
will always sit like this—
each afternoon shall evanesce
amidst sea-green juniper and cress.
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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