Play = Life, by Margo Roby

Play = Life 
by Margo Roby

Life invites play —
play sparks an actor’s word,
a child’s imagination,
playful pursuits of the heart,
playing the field, and playing around.

Wanna play doctor?
she asks–
and they explore
until they learn
to hide
to seek
to thrill
to the chase.

We play for time, for attention,
into someone’s hands. We play chicken,
fast and loose, hooky, and possum.
We play with fire, run with the hare
and hunt with the hound.

When girl meets boy
they play games
and the one who catches
all the jacks
before the ball bounces,

Play involves risk because life involves risk.
One child, on the swing, wants to go higher
and higher, while another sees monsters
in shadows, and giggles away fright.

Run, run
as fast as
you can;
you can’t
catch me…

Play is a song, and music’s spell,
flirting, teasing, playing the fool. Play
is waiting games, and crawling into dark
places – just to see what’s there.

Red Rover, Red Rover
won’t you come over
and I’ll show you
what love’s all about

Play is deeply human,
stirs memories, leads to regrets.
We play rough. Careless. Without thought.
We play endlessly at being human.
Play is discovering our personal limits.

You’re it,
but I won’t run
too fast.

Play is
practise for… not-play.
Play is

Margo Roby spent the first twenty years of her life in Hong Kong; the second twenty years of her life following her army husband around the world with their two children; and an overlapping third twenty years teaching at an international school in Jakarta. Now, Margo lives in Atlanta, discovering life after salaried work and focusing on her writing.


RWJ issue 4

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4 thoughts on “Play = Life, by Margo Roby

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