Hit: to take another card, and risk breaking.
Stand: to stick with what you have.
The dealer is dailiness, and the asking—
hit or stand?—comes more often than you guess.
Missed cues can fill a life. Or you signal wrong,
the house responds, no recourse. Standing with less
may be safer—you know the odds—but even then
the temptation is to hit. Sometimes loss
at long odds looks better than a sure win;
as if winning were a sure thing, ever.
In some dreams a familiar house will open
into unsuspected rooms, door after door
glides ajar, yet you hang back and consciousness
cuts in like an eviction. But what if you were
not so anxious to wake back into your less
uncharted life, and chanced those farther rooms . . .?
Caution cancels love’s richer part; eros,
sequestered in home safety, always seems
to die by inches. The house wins by turning
its people into furniture. Many tombs
are made of unplayed cards. It’s me I’m warning
here. Hit when the asking happens. The house
may have its system, but you’re not through learning.
© Bernard Clark
Sentinel Poetry (Online) #41
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POETRY & GRAPHICS...Since 2002 ISSN 1479-425X April 2006
Editor: Amatoristero Ede