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Carolyn Chilton Casas


The cards are worn,
white edges darkened by hands
that often held them.
They no longer slide easily
like a new deck,
the bicycle-riding cupid
and his reflection faded,
the numbers and letters
jumbo size for older eyes.      
On a visit, my daughter asks
me to teach her rummy.
Her boyfriend’s family plays,
and she wants take part.
I point her to the bottom
cupboard where board
games they played as children
occupy a neglected space.
These were Grampa’s,
weren’t they?

She must remember
the many cribbage games
at the dining room table
after dishes were washed.
Or watching him play                        
solitaire nonstop
in his small home on the hill.
When she leaves,
I take the deck tenderly
into my hands, shuffle the cards
the way he taught me.
I deal out a solo game
and reminiscing, begin to play.

This poem first appeared in Quill & Parchment (June 2022).
Used here with permission.


Carolyn Chilton Casas lives on the central coast of California. A Reiki Master and teacher, she often explores ways of healing in her writing. Carolyn's stories and poems have appeared in numerous publications and she is the author of one poetry collection, Our Shared Breath. Carolyn enjoys hiking and beach volleyball; learn more about her on Instagram at mindfulpoet_ .


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Post script - "Solitaire" is the perfect title for this poem, with its double meaning.
Posted 09/17/2022 11:05 AM
Wilda Morris:
A poignant poem. I love the intergenerational dynamic in this poem, including the young adult granddaughter still wanting to learn from her grandmother - and remembering her grandfather. Well done!
Posted 09/17/2022 11:04 AM
Lori Levy:
Like Sharon, I also love the line about Grampa playing "solitaire nonstop/in his small home on the hill."
Posted 09/15/2022 02:47 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love this poem which to me is about aging and being alone after the spouse dies, not about playing cards. My favorite lines were: "These were Grampas, werent they?" and "She must remember...watching him play solitaire nonstop in his small home on the hill."
Posted 09/15/2022 10:47 AM
Fun. Solitaire brings our aloneness into focus.
Posted 09/15/2022 10:34 AM
Larry Schug:
The most unlikely objects trigger memories and nostalgia. Nice!
Posted 09/15/2022 08:43 AM

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