Knight Moves

Playing chess with my computer,
I struggle to relearn
what, where, and how to move
and now all I see is squares—
bathroom and floor tiles, crossword puzzles,
the checkered blouse of the lady in front of me—
as pawns plod forward in dull straight paths,
rooks zoom about in their rows and columns,
bishops whiz diagonally back and forth,
while king steps cautiously
one square at a time and queen
goes anywhere she damn pleases.

But mostly it is knights I see
moving in their crazy L’s—
two squares one way and then one square
perpendicular the other way,
or sometimes one square, then two—
charging into center position
or angling away to evade attack,
jumping over every obstacle
in their lively three-step dance
around the board.

My knights may not be as
valuable as other pieces,
but I find them handy and formidable
in tight corners and unpredictable,
like the long game I play.

First published in Tipton Poetry Journal Spring 2023

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