Daily Archives: January 19, 2017

No Win Assured

Thanks to age and illness
I can’t close either hand

upon a bottleneck,
a lighter, or a hilt.

Two open hands that tingle
with no grip. 
Two dead feet
that feel just like that; one hard knot

in my gut; still working to be

to my limited extent
I stumble forward,
hands out for balance.

If nothing else works at least
they’re always open; even if
my scant capacity shortens my reach,
stunts my ability to hold what comes to me,

to push off what attacks, to signal
to all around if there’s danger,
these hands and feet
were dealt to me, are what I must play with

in this game for as long as I can, so
I keep playing for stakes higher
than I can afford.  That’s all 
I’ve got —

no win assured and
none expected 
in what remains of 
this life.

Thank You

Thanks, he said, for playing along
with a rigged game
for as long as you did
and pretending that it was fair 
from start to finish.

Thanks, he said, for being
a good sport, a tough competitor,
a worthy adversary.
Thanks, he said, for giving it
all you had. It was a good run.

Thanks, he said, for your rise 
to a challenge, your grace
in falling short. Thanks, he said,
for stepping aside when all
was said and done. 

Thanks, he said, for not
kicking up a fuss, for 
lying down and taking
a fall, for high roads and 
all that.

Thanks, he said, for being
so understanding, for not getting loud
or making a scene. Thanks,
he said, we got this and
don’t let the door hit you

in your loser ass on 
your way back to the back
of the back of the back. Dark
as it is back there I hope
you don’t fall and break your neck

or something. Hope
you stay upright. Hope
you hope and pray. Hope
you learn some manners
back there in the dark. Next time

you’d better say “you’re welcome”
when someone thanks you, when someone
lets you off this easy.  Next time someone
beats you like a drum, chum,
you’d better dance.