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.
From Here from Away (Wordtech Communications, 2003).
Used with the author’s permission.
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Kate Bernadette Benedict lives in New York City. Having worked in book publishing and finance, she is currently the editor and publisher of Umbrella: A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose and the recently launched Tilt-a-Whirl, a resource for poems written in repeating forms. Kate’s first full-length collection of poetry, Here from Away, was Editor’s Choice in The Philadelphia Inquirer. A new book, In Company, publishes in 2011. Learn more about her at www.katebenedict.com.
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