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When you smile your eyes
Become happy commas
Printed on a sunbeam.
Whenever you cry your face
Cracks like a broken mirror
Reflecting your pain.
Coffee bitter on the tongue
Caramelized by sitting on
A hot plate all day long.
Cream and sugar added do not
Stanch the growling acid gut.
Caffeine habit pours the cup
Contra taste or thirst or thought.
They say a leader plays chess,
moving his pieces to attack and
defend the king's fame and profit,
sacrificing men to gain position.
So complex, so many possible moves,
and yet, the field of battle is rigidly 8X8,
each piece with precise, immutable power
and unshakable allegiance
against the enemy.
But a leader of men plays the game
on shifting squares
where men waver with each move and
play their independent games,
multiplying the possibilities infinitely.
Still, the game is the same either way.
The leader cleverly probes foundations,
plucking at the guy wires' stability and
torching the field to test his team's mettle...
and testing his own will.
Joseph V. Simone, MD, who writes OT's popular and award-winning “Simone's OncOpinion” column and as well as “Joe's Career Blog,” has long had a love of poetry, both in reading and appreciating the work of others, and in writing his own.