by Karen Massey

Appear weak and frightened,
no competition at all,
then come out fighting.

Seem like
a snivelling, cowardly fool —
turn out viciously
clever. Play it!

An odd strategy,
it will take an awful lot
to convince anyone.

Of course,
this is no ordinary
journey. Dig deep.

SOURCE: “Strategy” by Karen Massey is based on page 41 of The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press, 2008).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Poet and artisan, Karen Massey lives in Ottawa, Canada. She has one chapbook, bullet, from above/ground press. Her work has received several prizes and has been published most recently online at,, Bukowski on Wry, and in varied print journals and anthologies including Decalogue: Ten Ottawa Poets (Chaudiere Books). One of her poems was on the long list for the 2012 Erasure Poem Contest.