snakes and

It’s how you learn.  It’s just a game,
bumping around the board in pairs.
You throw the dice, and move the same
lucky/unlucky coloured squares.

It’s quite like life.  There’s not much skill
in getting one small die to fall.
You think you’ll get ahead, until
your partner throws a six.  That’s all.

It’s up and down.  Your counter might
land at a ladder’s foot, so you
are whisked up high, a win in sight.
Success? - exactly what you’re due.

But chance can change:  another throw  -
those fragile dreams of winning break.
Your ladder crumbles, and you go
down the inevitable snake.

Those snakes:  their job’s to drag you down,
snatch back your hope, squander your gains;
remind you fantasies can drown,
that nothing’s won without hard pains;

that when you’re down, you’re out, and broke;
that when you’re broke it’s hard to earn.
It’s quite like life  (but not a joke).
It’s up and down.  And did you learn?

D. A. Prince

If you have any comments on this poem,  D. A. Prince  would be pleased to hear from you.