For readers in foreign climes, a hobnob is a delicious biscuit, indigenous, I believe, to the British Isles.

Although it may have seasonal migratory behaviour that I am unaware of. Thank you.

Anyway, that’s the least of your worries with this one.

“it’s kind of like chess,” she says

and we take seats at a board

that’s hexagonal, at best

there’s no chequered pattern

or pieces as such

just sea shells and tendons and spherical fluff

it’s your turn, she says

and confused, i remove a tendon or two

from where they had been

and place them between

two balls of dust and look up

and our audience erupts with whistles and jeers

which i find quite strange

because i’m sure they weren’t here

when we sat down to play

stroking her chin, she debates a move

that ends with placing tendon end-on in a groove

there’s a muffled hush as the crowd go mild

and she sits back, arms folded

smiling devious child

as rules, it would seem

are thin on the ground

i see her her tendon and raise her some crumbs

from a couple of hobnobs, that i stash in my sleeve

for occasions like these

the crowd are asleep now, you really can’t blame them

we’ve been playing a week, it’s not entertainment

we’re just pushing round biscuits and bits of the sea and bits of cow’s knees

with no victor in sight, through a yawn and a scratch

i forfeit the match and she stands up and bows

and says, tearfully prone

“Well done, you won. I want to go home.”