The Big Dice Game


All my friends

have something on their minds;

a preoccupation with expectations,

moments that failed to pass.

 

A bitter mother

and a sorry father,

another excuse for abuse:

one more hole in the head.

 

A flippant reply

amid stolen articles and loose change,

the unpaid bills offer testament

to the dreams we had.

 

Silence sits atop the dining room table

like a glacier.

There's nothing to say when all is said:

the chill creeps into the heart.

 

We are told to want

things we do not need,

and told to give

things we do not have.

 

A green young man

dealing in dreams

lost his life along with his wife:

the pressure was too great.

 

Empty conversations

filled his evenings

until he devolved himself

with a 38 caliber recycler.

 

Mary was a girl

with a life of her own:

mind distortion after two abortions,

she hasn't quite recovered.

 

Mary's mother was depressed

and left Mary alone.

Mary grew round, pound by pound,

watching the soaps every afternoon.

 

Wrapped in insecurity,

we creatures paranoid

glimpse one another undercover

to spy out faults and use them for leverage.

 

One man,

I knew quite well,

drank to ease the pain, he explained;

but now he can't remember how it started.

 

The freeway jam,

the charge accounts,

schedules at work gone berserk:

are these the rewards for success?

 

A rich boy

gave it all up

to know what for and go to war;

he had a patriotic notion.

 

He did not die

like the others

but returned old and worn out,

dying uncertainly by degrees.

 

The wife

of an acquaintance

ran way yesterday

with a man she had just met.

 

Fifteen years

of vested marriage,

all is changed and rearranged,

squandered on a one night stand.

 

I am told

things could be worse;

the bomb might fall on us all,

but I don't know how or why.

 

The universe

plays its tricks,

leading us to believe we see

some sort of meaning in our arrangements.

 

Random choice,

the big dice game,

makes a rich man poor

and keeps a poor man hoping.

 

Rich or poor, nobody's laughing,

they're mostly counting,

judging profit margins and keeping score,

blind beyond their reach.

 

And that

is the state in which we live,

where happiness is transient

and all life is fleeting.

 

A wheel on a game show,

spun by blind contestants,

while the winnings are spent

before they're won.

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