Tuesday Poem


After supper, the dishes done, the news
over, the boozy father snoozing in his chair—
now is the hour when mother and I repair
the rips of the day's separations. She woos
me to the cards with cakes and tea: we play
Canasta, the melding game, with double decks
to cut and shuffle. Sharers, two of a sex
are we! We deal, we squeal, we moan, we pray
out loud for luck. It's flirtation, dalliance.
The cards splay in our hands like a geisha's fans,
we gaze in one another's eyes. She scans
me; I'm her poem. I goad her; it's a dance
we danced till I was twenty-five. “Play!”
she pled. I sighed and put the cards away.

by Kate Bernadette Benedict
from Here from Away
Wordtech Communications, 2003