Sunday, February 26, 2017

Queen of Hearts by Ben Rasnic

She never speaks
but when I visit my Mom
at the nursing home
I can always count on her
being there
close by
with large engaging eyes
and an effortless smile.

I offer a “hello”,
& then, on cue, she fumbles through
her oversized handbag
and flashes a playing card,
the Joker. 

Flushed, I attempt
a disingenuous dialogue
to break through
the awkward silence.
Smiling back at me, she winks
& playfully holds up another card,   
a one-eyed Jack.

Now somewhat out of my element
I remark, “That’s nice,”                         
as she, feigning sleight of hand,
gradually draws another card
on the sly from her handbag,
before coyly revealing
the Queen of Hearts.

Having never perfected
my go-to poker face,
I saw the bright light in her eyes fade
as she shied away & stared hypnotically
at the linoleum floor.

I asked my mother
if she knows her.

“No”, she responded.
“She’s just here.”

Ben Rasnic finds sanctuary in a quiet Bowie, Maryland subdivision where the only sounds at night are crickets and the lonesome wail of a passing Norfolk Southern freight train.

No comments:

Post a Comment