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House Rules
By Cheryl Scheir

In the midst of this mess

It gets hard to tell

The problems 

From the solutions


Perhaps it doesn’t matter

I was the one who did something

Made a move

Tried to move the dial


Like a board game with pieces

Life landed on me and sent me back home

Sent me down a chute 

Pushed me onto a new space at the wrong place on the board


I lost my turn

I lost my edge

I lost all my carefully sorted paper money



What fun is this funhouse

When you have to keep your mouth shut

And your ideas to yourself

And your hands inside the car at all times? 


Persevering into the everyday

I set up the pieces on the board

Strap in on the ride and hold on tight

I mind the rules


My lined-up dominos tip and fall

One after another

What I have built up

Gone in seconds


Built up to be destroyed

Destroyed to resurrect

Resurrected to what?

Nothing, at all


Executing the knowns while navigating the unknowns

A creaking ominosity

Gives way to animosity

I say out loud, These odds are stacked


I tell you, though

I’d like to win, just once

I don’t need it all the time

Just some of the time


Tell me, are you 

Proud of me or pleased with me

Sorry for me or sick of me 

Either which way, I guess, I’ll have to take it


But it’s not really my opinion that matters

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