The Game by Michael Peck

We chose to play the game
struggled to become a piece
on the board
knowing inside it wasn’t a game.
 ..
we knew only hunger
we wanted to eat something,
anything to fill our bellies,
feel some respect and dignity
to ease the pain of being empty
we wanted a chance.
 ..
we would play the game
that wasn’t a game
we would carry the bag
go where they told us to go.
 ..
we would run with the bag
if anyone tried to stop us,
if we dropped the bag
the rules of the game
said we were dead.
 ..
maybe the police couldn’t run as fast
as us
maybe if we ran through the streets
they wouldn’t shoot if
there were people in the street.
 ..
so we played the game
knowing we were expendable pieces
on the mean streets
of life’s board game
half starved with frightened eyes
trying to look mean or brave
knowing it was for ourselves
because no one else cared about us
we wanted to eat
and knew in our hearts
one day we would be eaten.

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