Of all the pieces on the board,
is born into the game
with the least to lose and the most to gain,
hers is a limited trajectory –
easily blocked/carried off.
It’s a risky business, surviving a game
where her sacrifice is strategy.
But these small profiles
conceal a strength severe.
don’t rest your eyes,
watch well over your lines,
because pawns can transform.
So all you bishops beware –
we know what you keep under your cloaks.
And all you knights guard your swords with care –
we know where your horses sleep.
And even if only one of us makes it to the border,
ravaged by all the King’s men,
when she comes back,
in royal wrath, her gilded crown ablaze,
pockets heavy, she will repay you for her sisters
with a swift, silent swish of her skirts.
Originally published in Poetrix No. 38.
Bronwyn Lovell is a writer living in Adelaide, Australia. Her work has appeared in Best Australian Poems, Meanjin, Antipodes, Cordite and other journals. Her poetry has won the Val Vallis Award and the Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize; been shortlisted for the Fair Australia, Newcastle, Bridport and Montreal prizes; and nominated for a Rhysling Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her essay “Science Fiction’s Women Problem” gained international attention and was a finalist for the CHASS Australia Prize for a Student. You can find her online at bronwynlovell.com or follow her on Twitter @lovellybronwyn.