Discard Pile

Grandma is never too drunk
to play solitaire.
to cook, yes;
to stand, often;
but never too drunk
to scrape the cards
from the top of the deck
with her thumb
watching for a move
without raising her head

Card, card, card. Flip
Card, card, card. Flip
Card, card, card. Flip


She pulls the last fortifying drag
from the cigarette
that’s been unraveling into smoke
before she grinds it cold
at the bottom of the ashtray
then gathers the pile, turns it over and
shuffles the way her father taught her,
convinced that Jack of Diamonds
is coming out this time
bringing with him
the key to possibility

A new deal

The aging dog
asleep beneath her chair
starts twitching through a dream.

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