Dad liked to gamble.
The story chronicles his
eight weeks of non-stop luck.
Three dollars won each day
from a Chicago bookie, exactly
enough to pay the hospital’s
daily fee for the incubator
that kept his daughter alive.
What if Dad were dealt a bad
hand, picked the losing pony, tossed
craps? Would my name have
disappeared? I picture an orderly pulling
me from my heated bed. An aide
skipping a bottle or two of formula.
No one in the family considered
a dire ending to this tall tale.
Or offered to help pay the bill.
Tina Hacker’s full-length poetry book, Listening to Night Whistles, was published by Aldrich Press and a chapbook, Cutting It, by The Lives You Touch Publications. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been published in a wide variety of journals, both online and paper. Since 1976, she has edited poetry for Veterans' Voices, a magazine of writing by hospitalized and recovering vets.