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Child of darkness, child of scorn,
the devil danced when you were born,
for demon seed from Morphy passed,
would haunt your days ‘til everlast.
Predestined to die derelict,
an iso-pawn so cynical,
how cruel a fate awaits the one
that conquered Caissa’s pinnacle.
With skills eroding into rust,
a mind among things you can’t trust,
your memory was a microchip that couldn’t tell a lie,
so how mind blowing was it knowing
thoughts had gone awry?
Who four and sixty squares ago
long dreamed in peaceful silence.
Such calm demeanor at the board
that conjured fearsome violence:
“Rook sacrifice, then capture twice,
both bishops through his kingside slice…”
Teacher calls but you don’t hear
the question yelled into your ear.
Your answer doesn’t much impress:
“All I want is to play chess!”
A child of wonder, child of light,
found joy in movements of the knight.
But happiness was harsh illusion
of neurons firing in confusion.
A Collin’s kid thrust on a stage,
emotions ranged from rant to rage,
oblivious to death and age.
As paranoia took its toll,
no karaoke rock and roll
could sooth the seething of your soul.
Your Kingdom coming all to naught,
a wonderkind what God hath wrought,
in scenic Selfoss solace sought.
A peaceful place, beyond belief,
real respite, sweet, so sadly brief,
as all good things came soon to grief.
Distrust of doctors wasn’t wise,
failed kidneys led to your demise,
as genius lives so genius dies.
Now rests ye ‘neath a marble marker,
in this modest churchyard, darker
than Icelandic nights, but starker.
Until Aurorae rising blaze
their tribute to your glory days,
with ethereal light displays.
Lighting lands that fire forges
from raw ice, rift valleys, gorges,
glaciers, falls, and geysers glorious,
vistas vast for visitors curious,
some come to curse your fate, so furious.
Much like this land, your home by trade,
an ice and fire mixture made
of brilliant works, immortal,
until square sixty-four was played,
then sudden back to blackness fade,
snatched back through Heaven’s portal.
For the fates be they fickle, the fates be they random,
they give unto greatness, and rob from its fandom.
Please give us a share of your genius, so prickly.
Oh why must they take all the great ones so quickly?
So we go for the gusto, go for the gold,
so slow to grow up, so fast to grow old.
And since the time you were a snot-nosed pisher,
we’ve been searching for the next Bobby Fischer.
Copyright © Eric Cohen | Year Posted 2019