Absence - by Billy Collins

| 0

This morning as low clouds

skidded over the spires of the city


I found next to a bench

in the park an ivory chess piece –


the white knight as it turned out –

and in the pigeon-ruffling wind


I wondered where all the others were,

lined up somewhere


on their red and black squares,

many of them feeling uneasy


about the saltshaker

that was taking his place,


and all of them secretly longing

for the moment


when the white horse

would reappear out of nowhere


and advance toward the board

with his distinctive motion,


stepping forward, then sideways

before advancing again –


the same move I was making him do

over and over in the sunny field of my palm.