I taught my wife chess
too well. She countered
all my moves with ease.

“Chinese or pizza tonight?”
I don’t care.
“Pick one.”
Okay— Chinese.
“Let’s get pizza.”

There were also good times—
long talks on hikes with dogs,
laughs over sushi and sake
but just enough rejection
that I felt like failure.

I suggested bike rides,
nights at the theater,
dinners with friends—
all declined.

As the refusals accumulated
I stopped trying,
conceded the game
as though I’d been mated.

It was long after the match
that I realized I’d learned too well.
I should have practiced forgetting
because sometimes “no” means “not now”
and that her caprice, while maddening,
meant I could have always made another move.


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2 Responses to Checkmate

  1. Lisa Tomey says:

    Nicely done. I like what you have done with this.

    Liked by 1 person

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