Monday, September 15, 2014

A poem

The chances we take define us, my father used to say
As he sat in his old recliner, and watched his children play.
That ace was a keeper, Samuel; that deuce was a loss, Maureen;
His sense was a tad too knowing, and his eye was a mite too keen.

He played when he wasn’t watching, and he won when he wasn’t tired.
I wanted to see the time come round when his winning streak expired.
But when he found he was losing, he’d know it was time to quit;
He would win, and after that winning, he’d say he was tired of it.

I found as I grew in knowledge, that his skill was a way of life.
He kept things that wanted keeping, and his judgment cut like a knife.
He laid things that wanted laying, and gained what he wished to gain.
But he always insisted grimly that a cheater must end in pain.

The last night my father gambled was the night that he played with me.
He thought my hand held a seven; but it happened to harbor three.
When he saw my hand on the table, he knew he could win no more,
And he shot himself with a piece he’d won from a man that he’d rendered poor.

I buried my father early; the sun had an hour to sleep.
I dug till my palms were blistered; I dug till the grave was deep.
The things that he lost undid him in games he could clearly win.
His final opponent cheated; the sinner had met his sin. 

No comments:

Post a Comment