Two Pawns by Irena Pasvinter


Two Pawns

Your pillowcase is white and mine is black.
Our heads are resting, pieces on a chessboard:
Two pawns, one fast asleep and one awake,
Recuperating after daily labors.

The pawns, what do they dream of? Do you know?
To fall in battle? To delay the deadly fate?
I bet they long to reach the final row
And morph into a queen — then check and mate.

And we, what do we dream about tonight?
There are no magic rows in our game.
I’m not a queen, you’re neither king nor knight.
Life has no rules it cares to explain.

Let’s just enjoy the play. Forget the ending.
I dream not to remain the last standing.

by Irena Pasvinter

Editor’s Note: Personification and metaphor drive this poem’s narrative until the closing couplet where the speaker’s vow reflects a very personal wish to cling tight to those we love while we can.