By The Rules

Morning.

No fudging!

No Steelies!

Play for keeps!

A dusty rut marks the circle

where animated boys ring the orbit

for play, to cry,

“No Girls”

Egged on by allies, they shoot,

Aggies, Cat’s Eye, Milk glass,

hunkered down, fist on ground, 

a Lemonade Taw knocks out the Glassie,

et shot tour de force.

Penny marble,

threepence at most, 

all Spud needed

to fill his drawstring bag. lunchtimes

when rules, ruled.

Afternoon.

McMahon’s marble fell,

Marlene’s groom Ian

marched, measured, militarised,

fit to kill

fell on a foreign paddy,

loading artillery 

fifteen kilometres

from the action.

The town turned out 

when 3791583

marched home, alone

on a fancy gun carriage.

Rulers decreed — Regimental rules applied

Evening

All welcome.

A roulette marble drops,

winners play on,

launder money,

or lose the house.

The game played for a government’s budget has,

all white,

or ocean blue chips,

to cover 

the dollar,

or thousand, each represents

because no one needs a drawstring bag

in a cashless world.

Rules, rule in the house,

“not fit to hold a licence.”