Insert Your Coin

Insert your coins
you only get a few
Some are shiny and new
Those you got on your own
Others are a little old and worn
Those were given to you by your
parents, teachers, advice-givers

You’ve been playing for
so long but always with your coins in someone else’s
Asking again, again, are
you sure, are you sure
The freedom of decision is
rubbing in your pocket, clanging
out a beat of possibility

Step into the arcade, gleaming lights
pounding your senses, each
letting out the electronic scream of
You know which ones you like
the ones you don’t
But there’s a trick to this little
game we’re all playing
Stuck in this arcade world

Games are fun, sometimes
But we’re all playing for a reason
Searching for something in ourselves
Happiness, satisfaction, pride at
something achieved
Sometimes our coins work
Sometimes they don’t

There are times you can tell, easy –
Oh look, the cord isn’t plugged in
Go choose another game
Other times everything seems

You slide in that precious little
token, a coin to your future
And maybe the game plays for
an instant
Maybe longer than that
But suddenly something goes wrong
And all the games are melting, oozing
around your feet like boiling, bubbling
plastic, hot enough to peel back your
skin and melt away your bones
leaving nothing but the writhing mass
of a tortured soul drowning in
the destruction of all the choices that
could have been, that have been
And everything is

You can choose to stand up
or stay lying down
But if you were to stand up,
amongst the sizzling floor and
remnants of your old body,
There are yet more games

Maybe you’ll choose
wrong but maybe, just maybe,
you’ll choose right

Insert your coin

– Kima


Kima Hazelwood is a Grade Twelve student at CCH. She enjoys writing and reading fantasy, baking, and belly-dancing. Her favourite things about CCH are all the wonderful staff members and linguistic classes.

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