Snakes and Ladders


Bled my way

into deals with the devil.

Shed my skin

didn’t recognize my face.

All this is so insane,

it seems ordinary.

Wish I’d never done

what I’ve done

to escape.

Played a game

rung by rung.

Catch a glimpse of it.

Climb up

on the shoulders of my friends

and try to see tomorrow.

See the snake.

I know that’s how it ends.

Down in the dirt again.

So quick to put my name

on the paper and claim

things to which

I had no right

to gain.

Suffer the embrace.

Coils tight,

and jaws unhinged.

Time devours everything.

We can look and see

hawks in the sky,

living with the wings

they were prescribed.

While another page

across to me slides

and I’m asking,

“Where do I sign?”

Lightheaded, now.

I can barely make out

the hood,

and the slit-pupil eyes.

Somewhere behind

my next crime

is a ladder

that leads to the light,

but I’ll have to get free

of myself

before I can climb.

So slow to live.

So quick to die.

I’m gonna learn in time.

Not sure I’ll ever be satisfied,

I’m playing the game of my life.



DJR – 2023

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