MIDWEEK POETRY. Game of Cards.

This is how I’ve seen my life journey from the beginning, when you are born dead it can only get better, right?  A struggle from one spark of happiness to another, with dark chasms of life in between. I put the photo together to highlight mainly the dead man’s hand, aces and eights. Said to be the hand held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was murdered. The last card was face down and no one really knows what it was. The Queen of Hearts is relevant in the poem. The Fool or Joker can refer to many things in life, decisions etc. The rest is self explanatory.


Life’s like a Game of Cards.

You waited

for me.

Your bony

claw like hands extended.

I saw your hollow eyes

glow with anticipation.

Then an angel put her tender

lips to mine.

Blue, still.

She breathed life,

drawing me out of the

dark abyss.

As I let out my first cry,

you faded.

I heard the swish of your

cloak as you turned

in search of

another victim.

Yet you kept coming back,

dealing the cards

from the bottom of the deck.

Aces and eights,

the dead man’s hand.

I’m still playing, even though

you shuffle the deck of my life.

Have you marked the cards?

Why raise the stakes?

Do you like to see me

grope in empty pockets to match

your bet?

I’ve staggered many times

from the table, only to return

with a handful of chips.

I laid them down and stared

into the shadow beneath your cowl.

I lost a few hands,

folded twice and went of my

own accord.

Then you dealt me a Queen of Hearts.

With her at my shoulder

I’ve renewed my interest in the game.

You deal fear with every card, laughing as

others fall by the way.

I’m still at the table,

playing your crooked game

and will be.

Until I fold.

Laurie Smith, copyright 2013


25 thoughts on “MIDWEEK POETRY. Game of Cards.

  1. rayjamieson

    Hi Laurie, just found this poem, months later. Great job, excellent use of metaphors, so much in the poem – a bit like Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler”. Enjoyable but also very thought provoking.


    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      Thanks Ray, you have to make it hard for your reader sometimes 🙂 Metaphor is a great tool because people can read into it what they wish. Thanks again for digging in the depths of my blog.


  2. Raani York

    Laurie, this poem deeply touched me. I read it a few times even to let it settle into my blond brain. I like it very much! And I think it’s powerful in many different ways! Well done!


    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      Hi Raani, thanks so much for that. Sometimes you have to write them so the reader has to look at it a couple of times, then there’s the ‘ah ah’ moment, I’ve got it.


  3. patgarcia

    Hi Bro,
    This is a heavy poem. I read it and re read it. I hear what you are saying. I too believe life can be compared to a deck of cards, but I see the people who live life as being the card players, because they are the one who are making choices and deciding how they will live their lives. Most people don’t do that. In fact, I believe 90 percent of the people stand around watching while the ten percent play the game. This 90 percent let life happen to them and blame it on everyone else but themselves. In my opinion, they are not sitting at a card table, playing cards. Like I said your poem is really heavy and it got me to thinking.
    Great job.


    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      Hi Sis, good to see you back in form. You’re right there are players and watchers in this card game of life. Taking control of it is the hardest thing to do though. I like doing heavy poems, I’ll have to try lighter now and then.


      1. patgarcia

        In my opinion, all of your poems have meaning behind them, so keep at your heavy poems. Your light ones make me think too. I think that is one of the reasons that poetry has such a strong effect on some people. You can read a poem; it hits you, and it changes your life forever.
        So keep up the good work. You are one of those card players and I like to see you play.


      2. laurie27wsmith Post author

        Thanks Sis, I try to make them relevant and meaningful. It’s definitely an art. When they hit you they hit hard and it is a shame that poetry doesn’t have the prominence that it used to have. I’ll keep trying .


      1. laurie27wsmith Post author

        Thanks Keli, yes all mine. I’ve only used a couple from the web the rest are all my own work. I took 20 shots to get the right one though. It was more about placement and balance than content though, ‘just right’ is sometimes hard to get.


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