On the board, notwithstanding any artful horse canter,
the pawn soldiers forth alone
and stands in the field bravely,
waiting for reinforcement.
The knights will probably clip-clop forth
into the fray next, but they are chimeras,
Gray serf on the unplowed turf.
The court is aft, flanked by clergy,
horses, and crenellated towers.
The other side, the kingdom White
bounced out first, assured.
On this war grid of squared plot
the armies lock
The moves are studied,
the exchanges; bloody:
sacrifice for the Crown.
On the board, decorum and pageantry
define the choreographed combat,
the claret Pollockian marks,
the weaponry arcs—
the gruesome art of failed diplomacy.
The white scepter is broken when
the Black king with his pawn
arrives on foot standing equal
on this crimson field
*[ WSB ].