The result is always the same:
She wins,
I lose.
But sometimes when her tigers
are on the rampage,
and I’ve lost half my herd of sheep,
help comes from unexpected quarters:
The Rusty Shield Bearer,
neutral till then,
para-drops a winning flower —
and irrelevant —
on the checkerboard
drawn on the pavement in charcoal,
cutting off the retreat
of one tiger,
and giving a check to the other;
and quickly follows it up
with another flower —
just as yellow
and just as irrelevant — except
that it comes down even more slowly;
a flower without a search warrant
that brushes past her earlobe,
grazes her cheek,
and disappears down the front
of her low-cut blouse —
where she usually keeps
her stash of hash —
to confuse her even further, with its mildly
but very distracting fragrance.

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