Onyx and Marble

Thirty-two white, thirty-two black,
Two frozen armies, poised to attack.
Rows of combatants, petrified,
Lined up in wait on either side.
Silent battalions, an unstarted fight;
Sixteen black soldiers, sixteen more white.

The pawns advance in faceless waves,
Marching forward to their graves.
Then the knights on stony steeds,
The bishops pause. Then they proceed.
Black and white, serfs and lords.
Silently, they draw their swords.

Onyx, marble, lifeless stone
Locked in battle for the throne.
Warring castles, kings and queens,
Chalky carnage in between.
And then the lithic powder clears
And in the stillness one can hear

The word for which the war was fought,
The word for which each soldier sought,
The word that seals the battle's fate:
The final word, the word
Checkmate.

The End

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