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This poem is taken from PN Review 47, Volume 12 Number 3, January - February 1986.

Two Poems Andrew Waterman

ZUGZWANG

You'd be all right if you'd not got to move.
But it's your turn, the rules are you've to move.
But every legal move's a losing move.

Enemy forces whirl on looting jags,
slide into groove, and squinny down diags.
You'd be all right if you'd not got to move.

That blunder memory aborts - except
for smashed glass, bruises, blood-brushed clothes. You
     wept.
But it's your turn, the rules are you've to move.

The queen sidestepped your combo, pulled the rug
from under as you missed her zwischenzug.
But every legal move's a losing move.

Flexihour scotch, book-crawls, won't fend it off.
Your carefree early gambit dug this trough.
You'd be all right if you'd not got to move.
...


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