Thursday, June 8, 2017

Playing Checkers with Vincent

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Greg Wagoner

Playing Checkers With Vincent

Maybe I should have let him win.

He was an honest player,
showing me I could double jump him.

(I had forgotten about double jumps.
That's how long it had been since
my last checkers game.)

I thanked him for the tip
and didn't double jump him that time.

That counts, doesn't it?

He was an earnest player,
thinking through the if-thens of every move,
his strategy as transparent as his joy.
At one point, when I had two kings to his one
but there were still lots of checkers on the board,
he wanted to quit
but didn't.

He didn't flip the board
until my win was inevitable,
laughing gleefully,
no need to concede
because it was time to clean up
for free summer lunch.

Mini corndogs and fries
with two choices from the salad bar.

Maybe I had it all wrong.
Maybe he's the one who let me win.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2017


  1. I'll tell you what, Mary Lee, this poem is a winner in my book!

  2. I love all of these maybes and the corn dog details. The poem feels unforced and relaxed, the kind of interaction we teachers too-often don't have time for in the course of our school-days.