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Heads Up poetry column: Checkmate


God is all-knowing and all-powerful.

—The Baltimore Catechism

. . . and the Lord hath taken away.

—Job, 1:21

Busy as you were, God,

when you were alive,

you always found time

to torment the woman I love—not just

that old kid stuff, her tonsil




those casual tweaks, your afternoon’s


I mean the really dirty tricks, the mast


blighting her beautiful body,

and then of course her hyster


the doomed flesh gouged away

just as you pre-ordained,

and listen, God, I haven’t forgiven you

her hacksawed knees, those twin


nor am I overlooking

your other little favors:

her tricky heart, thinning bones,

lazy glands—and when you gave her

your best shot, that sneaky stroke,

you thought it’d be Strike

Three, right? Well,

not on your life, big boy,

she’s tougher than you thought,

and now that you’re dead,

she’s dancing on your grave.