It was before I knew that you holding me was such a burden
And I made sure to wait
until I understood how much I didn’t mean to you,
And for all those games of chess to become a faded memory.
Along with the board I made for you.
The one with the intricate design,
your design, that I spent so much time
Etching into the wood of the board
that was a Christmas gift for you.
Well now I’m making one of my own, for myself.
A Christmas gift for me,
To carry me through the new year
and all the years beyond.
But like as in playing a game of chess,
I have no brilliant moves to make.
No one is standing over my shoulder
warning me not to move to that square.
Or is there?
At times, sometimes, so many times,
I’ve wished there were someone there, now.
And I realize that with all of my energies
I’ve chosen it to be so,
Just as back then I’d made sure there wasn’t.
When I’d left my phone turned off
Until I was far enough away
that I knew I couldn’t be talked into turning back.
And now at the times when I catch myself asking:
What if there had been then?
If there had been, would I have made that move?
It’s confirmed that back then I had succeeded
in making sure there wasn’t – just in case.
And now I’ve made sure there are.
My pieces on my board,
Defending my squares and my positions,
giving me suggestions for a safer play.
But I see how you still see that back then
that square was the one most fatal.
The Check Mate of Check Mates.
And now it’s too late.
I’ve already walked out, I’ve already left.
And maybe it wasn’t such a brilliant move.
And maybe if I’d looked harder I could have found a safer square.
But that’s something I would have to have done from the beginning,
And we both know I never gave myself that chance. Or us.
And now here I am: the other colored queen
On a different board in a different game of chess.
But as I stand up in the morning with my bed still half made,
And feel that pang of memory from when you were once there
I remember it was in a different bed, a different home,
on a different block of street. And I know that this move was safest.
So what if on this board the pieces aren’t all arranged quite right,
Maybe I like the concept of Chess 960.
Maybe the important thing is all of the pieces are present
And over time I’ll have them all arranged just right.