poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “misfortune”

nine of spades

he shuffled the deck as quickly
as he talked
telling stories about kings and queens
and barbers in the castle
something about the three jacks
hanging out at the fire station
playing checkers with their pals

pick a card he said
proceeding to ramble on about the
price of milk and gasoline and
disposable razors

did you look at your card he asked

yeah I looked at my card I said

keeping the card face down I
slid it back into the deck
certain he didn’t see it

he shuffled the cards and shuffled
them again and continued to
shuffle the shit out of them
as he went on and on
babbling about how man never
really landed on the moon
how fairy tales used to scare him straight
and how the pope was really lucifer
having the time of his life

he splayed the deck across the table
and I could see my card but it was mostly
covered by the king of hearts

when I looked up he had stopped talking
and was just staring at me

what’s wrong I asked him

nothing’s wrong with me he said
but I’d like to know how long
you’re planning on hiding your
misfortune behind the suicide king

july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

groundhog day

no matter where I go there are holes
holes in the city streets
a hole in my metal bucket
holes through hula hoops and hangman nooses
small holes on wooden boards boys and girls
try to hit with miniature bean bag squares

at the deli I order a ham and cheese on rye
I hope swiss is okay says the hair-netted lady
not really I say got anything without holes
afraid not she says
perplexed and nearly disgusted
I walk out with a bag of chips
but no sandwich
and proceed to step in a hole
full of sand and rocks
displaced from last night’s rain

an old man sitting on a bench with a hole
in his head chuckles at my misfortune
keep laughing old man I say
don’t worry says the old man
there’ll be plenty more days like these

april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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