J’adoube with my finger on the king’s crown. His eyes stared that smile of maybe wrong, maybe right. Time. That pause between. Like the cat. We never won or lost. Monopoly was the same way. Playing with a realtor, grinning with “welcome to my neighborhood”. Hotels stood, still as rooks and castles. Sand. He had said to put his ashes in an hourglass. We didn’t. Finish.

Only with the eight ball. All taught in trigonometry. Spins and stops. Top center sent for placement. And when it worked, heard the soft pocket clop, white ball left right on target, I smiled. Jumped up and down. He walked around. Time. While I confidently chalked, they all dropped. His five stripes to none. Done.

I like the way chess boards are always there. Rarely are pawns laid in the box. Side by side in cushioned silk. Lid shut and buried away. They stay. Ready and waiting. Facing each other for thought touches, slow reaches, mind reading teaching. Time. I’ll scoot one diagonally and immediately look up into space. Then get up, walk around, keeping the game playing.


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