Summer Games

By Linda Himot

We play cards all summer sitting on the stoop,
Skinny Louie, Stuart the Whiner and me in pin curls,
shaded by umbrella trees that start out
catalpa fists, sprout skinny finger branches
leaves elephant ears that shed rain, shield
our burning wrists and knuckles, smacked raw
by the end of the deck, one for each point lost,
an Indian-burn twist for ten. Pennies are for sissies.
It’s War. The loser suffers.
Blood and skin is what we play for
while other kids ride bikes and swim.
Outcasts at school we harden calluses for fall
when Mr. Cooper’s saw lops branches to nubs,
exposes the tight scarred knobs and ours.

Categories: Issue 5, Poetry | Leave a comment

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