Chess is in at libraries
which are not just
places of dread
where book-wardens
guard their shelves

the librarians’
red t-shirts say
chess @ libraries
(out Heideveld way)

(there where patients accuse
the Community Health Centre
of turning them away and there is
foul play in a housing development)

Chess is in
where there are pawns
sheltering their precious king
some pieces higher up
in the food chain each trying
to capture the other

I wonder whether
all participants are
library members and
passionate readers too

And there is just
1 female contestant
(she from the Lansdowne team)
until another arrives later
(we hear she is seasoned)

(I befriend a young girl
playing assertively in the library
her comportment apparently
keeping her out of the local team)

Chess is in at libraries
and there is much whooping
as a Wynberg’s fellow wins
with a Lansdowne contender ninth
Chess is in