The Red Queen

Running in place just to stay ahead
along with countless creatures in this race—
even when winning you will be dead
for there is no trophy for second place.

What can she say? She gives all the fucks
in this game of love and lust and need
abreast the lions, bulls, and bucks;
not all win or lose when they breed.

The race! The race! What a frantic pace
to keep astride the world as it spins—
to stumble is to thereby erase
the progress of countless winning non-wins.

No trophies, she demands, nor ribbons
for those who keep up at the starting line;
whether dolphins, ants, deer or gibbons,
we jockey for place— do not fall behind.