Snakes and Ladders

by Suki Datar Jones

There’s a house in America full of children
Who like to play games
Like Snakes and Ladders in their white
Walled rooms. If they lose they act
Up. But they’re children, what do you expect?
Winning makes you feel powerful.

Their parents are powerful
People. They are expecting
A work call right now, they can’t look after the children.
They are not sure how a parent should act.
They try to keep the sofa white;
They watch the football game.

There are students studying economics and game
Theory so they can learn all the powerful
Moves. 82 percent in this year’s class are white
And male. They are the children
Of alumni; they know how they should act
And what is expected.

There is a lady on the bus who is expecting,
Holding her baby bump. Her face has gone white
And she does not have a seat. A man with his game
Face and briefcase sits powerful.
That lady will bear her children
And remember he didn’t act.

Due to a withdrawal from the 1982 Paris Act,
We can no longer expect
Our great-great-grandchildren
To see an unpolluted land. The decisions made in the White
House will make the sea less powerful.
We will only see grass in video games.

The biggest TV series and game
Shows have the greatest actors
And the greatest advertising power.
The producers keep the views up with the unexpected.

The TV screen’s gone white.
How are we meant to shut up the children?