Marbles

Dignity is my now tattered flag –
white by surrender’s tradition –
a message to my sworn enemies –
now limp over my fallen nation

You rolled unbroken like mercury –
vermillion in my palm – as poisonous
and ungraspable as quicksilver
You then scattered as if flick-struck

in a bent-to game of clicking marbles –
a crackshot with one eye open aims
to split our glass constellation
and to win with a swift ball bearing

My treasures rattled in an old sweet tin –
now my drugs settle in a smaller one
There are games set to be unwinnable
by that first spread of an opponent’s hand

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