Shishir (Winter) 2020 Poems - Carl Palmer



Carl Palmer

By Carl Palmer

My ring and middle fingers are the same length,
showing me the open cupped palm of his left hand.
I have the hands of a gambler. You have them, too.


Knowledge passes from father to son at the kitchen
table as he picks up four dice and hands me a pair.

His lesson begins:


Opposite sides of each cube add up to seven:
one and six two and five three and four

Always curl a six with your little finger, picking up
a dice cube in his right hand holding the six on top.

Sliding a six guarantees you’ll never crap out,
explaining an instant loss occurs with the roll of
two or three, losing both your bet and turn to shoot.


With the solid six all you need is a one or five for
the instant win, Seven Come Eleven or another
six called Boxcars which pays the shooter double.


Shake the other dice in your hand against the held
six, sounds like you’re rattling them both for luck.


This won’t work at a casino tossing dice off the
far wall of a crap table, but on a pool table at
any bar you’ll make more than running the rack.

Practice until you can win when you want, but
show you can be the occasional good loser, too.


Win often enough it looks like luck, use their
money to generously buy the next round of beer.
It takes talent to be a winner, not just with dice.


Carl “Papa” Palmer from USA is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. Carl is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Micro Award nominee.


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