The Card Players, by Steve Deutsch
The Card Players
Each night, these three--
Nathan, Henri and Charles
make ritual of rummy.
“To pass the time,”
they might offer,
should they so honour your question.
Henri, in beige, so often wins,
the others call him master.
His word is law in all things agricultural.
Poor Albert, skilless,
drawing comfort from his pipe.
I paint and sketch
And daily dream I hear--
“Paul, won’t you play?”
“Yes,” I say in a wink.
My spattered hands somehow
completed by the cards,
I sit with hat drawn deeply down
to hide my thought-filled eyes.
I play with verve and brilliance.
I am gallant in my dream.
But the invitation never comes--
and its lofty cousin, acceptance,
never finds its way to me--
to poor Cézanne,
the master of rejection.
Steve Deutsch lives with his wife Karen--a visual artist, in State College, PA. He writes poetry, short fiction and the blog: firstname.lastname@example.org. His most recent publications have been in Misfit Magazine, Word Fountain, Eclectica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, New Verse News, The Drabble. He was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
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