Chutes and Ladders

I wrote this next one when I was around 14.  It’s based on the old board game Chutes and Ladders where you roll dice and move your avatar through the board, sometimes landing on spaces with ladders that make you advance faster, or spaces that have chutes (slides) that make you go back to previous spaces.  The goal is to get to the end before your opponent, but at the end there is one huge chute that, if you hit it, you go all of the way back to the beginning.  I used this as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life in Chutes and Ladders.

Chutes and Ladders


I’m playin chutes & ladders,

It is just a game.

I haven’t played since I was young,

Seems the rules haven’t changed.


I start at the beginning,

What better place to begin.

With all the other players,

Everyone wants to win.


Now it is my turn,

I’m supposed to roll the dice.

But I am apprehensive,

And I begin to think twice.


Once I roll the die,

There is no turning back.

Because if I should falter,

I will fall behind the pack.


But it is just a game,

So I give it a shot.

Roll the die across the board,

And move ahead one spot.


I have just begun the game,

And already it’s getting long.

Every few spaces that I move,

Something seems to go wrong.


I roll the die and make my move,

Thinking I’m doing just fine.

But then I hit the chute and slide,

And end up even further behind.


Everyone else has better luck,

Climbing ladders left and right.

And a few are even so far ahead,

They vanish from my sight.


But it is just a game,

So I will play until it’s done.

I don’t know why I don’t just quit,

Cause I’m not having any fun.


Some players choose to drop out,

And cut their games too short.

But continue watching it forever,

Just to be good sports.


Suddenly it happens,

Up to the precipice I creep.

It’s the last chute of the game,

And damn is it steep.


I can hardly believe it,

I have almost won.

Roll the die one more time,

And it will all be done.


But therein lies the problem,

Two more spaces to go.

I wish that I could roll a 2,

But do I really know?


How many have come before me,

And stood at this very spot.

So close to the end they could taste it,

And had a second thought.


Roll a two and win it all,

Roll a one and slide.

All the way back to the beginning,

And wish that you had died.


Filled with indecision,

I just don’t roll at all.

I’m forever standing on the edge,

Finding the courage I need to fall.


~Zero Ehxe

In the end, it takes courage to go after dreams in life, because failure is always a possibility.


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