Ambient sound of jazz guitar,
Cocktails are shaken behind the bar.

She dealt me the Ten of Diamonds.
An easy card to play.

Two bouncers stand with knife-fight scars.
Sawn-off shotguns in the boots of cars.

She dealt me the Jack of Clubs.
A card I sometimes play.

A woman in a low-cut dress
Laid on green baize is happiness.

She dealt me the Queen of Hearts.
A card I love to play.

Outside in the alley the bins are full.
The rats are gnawing the impossible.

She dealt me the Ace of Spades.
The card no one can play.


If you have any comments on this poem, K. M. Payne would be pleased to hear them.