PROMPT #345 – YA GOTTA HAVE HEART

Today, we’re writing a “HEART” poem.

Be it, the Heart of the Matter, or artichoke hearts. The heart as a vital organ, or a heart felt expression of something. I hope you ❤ this prompt. You’re not necessarily writing a “love” poem, but if that’s what’s in your heart, by all means, go for it. I ❤ Poetry!

MARIE’S HEART:

THE HEART OF AN OLYMPIAN

Dreams held within resist all hindrances,
As though an iron breastplate shelters it.
Equating fear and doubt as hidden sins,
It will not recognize them, nor admit

Susceptibility may lie inside.  
It soundly strikes a metronome-like beat  
That pulses toward the goal that it has eyed,
Where grueling pain and utter joy may meet.

But when a running water hose crimps tight,
The urgent fix outweighs the aim at hand.
The crimp must be relaxed … And this despite
Whatever lofty plan was in demand.

Olympic hearts are human, in the end.
They’ve earned soft hands to hold them as they mend.

© Marie Elena Good, 2021


WALT’S HEART:

THE HEART OF POETICS

“True ease in writing comes from art, not chance”

  ~An Essay on Criticism (Sound and Sense) Alexander Pope

The heart expresses all that its eyes can see;
it is a voice that’s clear and speaks to all who wish to hear.
So, do not close your mind to what is possible. It can be
that a heart so blind will make love disappear.
But pens that stroke in broad and heartfelt hues,
will yield a master work in the words you choose.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

148 thoughts on “PROMPT #345 – YA GOTTA HAVE HEART

  1. Dedicated to our wonderful poets Walt and Marie.

    TWO POETS

    Two poets at heart.
    True, and irrefragable.
    Their exemplary words
    are manifested beauteously.
    The art from their lips
    drool the ecstasy of imagination.

    Benjamin Thomas

  2. HEART AND MIND

    The heart and mind are inseparable.
    Magnificent in functionality,
    marvelous in inconspicuousness.

    They are manifested in word and deed,
    gracious or toxic when spewed,
    and endowed with possibilities.

    Like an open field ripe for the taking,
    when anticipating its seed,
    having great potential for kinetic growth.

    Springing forth toxins, flowers, delicious fruits,
    canopies of mystical trees—
    the heart and mind, are inseparable indeed.

    Benjamin Thomas

  3. SENTINELS

    Guarding
    pairs of organs
    in human orchestras,
    our hearts stand watch and thump their beats
    alone.

  4. THE TRUE SOIL

    The dirt bleeds,
    the manifold life force that feeds the earth.

    From rags to riches,
    it switches form—to bless the needs of the many.

    It has untold power,
    to imbibe heavenly showers, nourish the plump and skinny.

    It is the great foundation,
    of man, beast, and creeping things alike.

    The heart of man,
    is the golden bridge and the true soil of the earth.

    Benjamin Thomas

  5. WINNING TEAM

    They say
    you gotta have
    heart, miles and miles of it,
    but sometimes a heart needs a brain’s
    quick wit.

  6. Walt, Your piece hits with such subtle power, especially, for me, in the myriad implications and connotations of :”hues.” Wonderful.

  7. Heart of Summer

    birdsong in a breeze
    resonates in sill skies
    long days of light
    borne
    the glimmer of ribbons
    of concrete and asphalt
    wanderlust
    I’m taken to many places
    small towns open their doors
    this is the story told
    of one and many places
    co-ed soccer in a park
    at the edge of town
    where I sit
    collecting my dreams
    cabins on a lake
    groves of trees
    speak to waters
    a communion of sorts
    heartfelt visions
    another day I am born

  8. No Doubt, A Hexaverse

    Go slowly, be kind,
    for everyone you
    meet is fighting a
    hard battle, struggling
    between heart and mind.

    There are two ways
    in this world that
    we can know things,
    heart, and heart-mind.

    Each moment,
    we get to
    start out fresh.

    Hoping,
    Trusting.

    Self.

  9. Something I wrote a decade ago that relates even more today than ever in our history:

    Heart of America

    It lay there in a heap
    Blood oozing from the cracks
    In the many layers of filth
    That covered its greatness
    The many layers of filth
    Heaped on by its enemies
    Layer after filthy layer
    Smothering its glory

    I put my ear to the pile
    And listened intently for life
    Any sign of life at all
    Any sound that emanates
    Any movement, warmth, or cry
    I listened intently for signs
    Plugged my other ear
    And listened
    And listened
    And then…..
    There it was

    Faint and seemingly dying
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    It was still alive under that heap
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    Fighting for its own survival
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    Readied for a great revival
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..
    Ba-bump……… Ba-bump……..

    So I jumped to my feet
    And went into action
    Pulling layer after layer of filth
    From the heap we all had built
    The heap of lies and deceit
    Thoughtlessness and selfish ambitions
    The garbage of unrighteous endeavors
    Bags of evil human inhumanness
    All piled on through twisted laws
    Bought and paid for by Satan himself

    The heap grew smaller as I dug
    I paused to listen once again
    Once again I heard the beat

    Louder this time, and a bit faster
    Ba-bump… Ba-bump… Ba-bump…
    Ba-bump… Ba-bump… Ba-bump…
    I think it sensed my efforts
    Ba-bump… Ba-bump… Ba-bump…
    Ba-bump… Ba-bump… Ba-bump…
    It knew my intent was honest
    Ba-bump… Ba-bump… Ba-bump…
    Ba-bump… Ba-bump… Ba-bump…

    But the heap of filth was massive
    My strength was waning under the strain
    I began to doubt my resolve
    Could I clean up this mess alone?
    Maybe
    Maybe not
    But I would rather die trying
    Than live knowing I did nothing

    So I dug, pulled, pushed, and threw
    Layer after layer of filth from the heap
    Sweat dripped from my brow
    Blood oozed from my swollen hands
    Then somewhere in my endeavor
    I lost all sense of time and feelings
    Fell into a state of euphoric madness
    In a frenzied rage, I passed out

    Awakened by the noise of
    Frantic laborers all around me
    Digging, pulling, pushing, and throwing
    Layer after layer of filth from the heap
    Sweat dripping from their brows
    Blood oozing from their swollen hands
    Joining me in my once hopeless endeavor
    I jumped again to my feet
    And joined them in their action
    Once again hitting a rapid rhythm
    No longer alone
    No longer wondering if
    What I had started would fail

    It would not
    We would succeed
    The heap would be removed
    And she would live again
    She would be great again
    Once again she would be
    As she had for so many years
    The example of liberty
    The light of the world
    The land of the free
    And the home of the brave

    BA-BUMP.. BA-BUMP..BA-BUMP..
    BA-BUMP.. BA-BUMP..BA-BUMP..
    BA-BUMP.. BA-BUMP..BA-BUMP..
    BA-BUMP.. BA-BUMP..BA-BUMP..

    The Heart of America beats on
    For I am the Heart of America

    Earl Parsons
    Copyright © Earl Parsons 2011

  10. AND THE BEAT GOES ON

    I used to think
    Anyone five and under
    Would have my heart
    Forever
    I couldn’t get enough
    Of their bright, alert minds
    Absorbing all life showed them
    Taking everything on faith
    Loving everyone they saw
    Catching every rainbow
    In their small hands
    Dancing in the rain or mud
    Didn’t matter
    It just had to be wet
    Or squishy
    They touched it
    They loved it
    They tasted it all
    With an eager glee
    A tangible joy
    An endless delight
    They stole my heart
    Early and lasting
    Teaching them, reaching them
    Was everything
    And yet
    As I visit memory care now
    Seeing my husband
    As his mind wanders
    Away from our time
    And our current reality
    Together
    I have a renewed heart
    For this stage of life, too
    Watching all the residents
    Sitting out in the sun
    Listening to the birds
    Enjoying the flowers
    Maybe each other
    Happy to go into dinner
    As a caregiver takes their arm
    They have lived another day
    And their life
    Has brought them here
    Their heartbeat still goes on
    Like all of ours must
    Appreciating life
    Wherever we are
    However, we are
    Whoever we are
    Until our last beat
    Just one beat away
    When our love can go anywhere
    At any time, it wants
    Because in the end
    That love is what lasts
    Forever

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  11. Harvest of the Heart

    The miles and miles
    are like rows and rows
    and the people I meet,
    planters planting seeds:
    hospitality, knowledge
    kindness, humor, love,
    adventure, fun, smiles
    into my traveler’s heart
    and I’m anticipating
    a brilliant harvest.

  12. Ruby Falls Redbud

    With heavy heart
    I went for a walk,
    not taking note
    of what was around
    me. Then, as I rounded
    a corner, there stood
    a wondrous weeping
    tree of deep red
    heart-shaped leaves.
    Had to know what
    that tree was called.
    Discovered it is
    a Ruby Falls Redbud.
    I want one.

    (see photo on site)

  13. You have a strong heart…

    Some mornings
    I want to get up
    And be frail
    Just for one week maybe…

    I would stay in bed and
    Eat cookies,
    And read and pretend
    I didn’t have to face that week.

    Nah, I couldn’t last a week.

    Maybe I could do it for a weekend.
    I would sit and watch television
    And dream about living elsewhere…

    That would get tiresome.

    I think I will try it for a day…
    And I would let my dishes pile up
    And my clothes go unwashed,
    And I would sit on my porch
    And drink cups of tea…

    I can’t sit still that long.

    How about for the morning…
    I would drink my coffee,
    And play card games,
    Pretend I have nothing to do.

    Ugh, I have dishes to wash and other things to do.

    How about I stop pretending
    And face the day before me…
    People tell me,
    “You have a strong heart.”

    I know they are right.

    Sometimes I wish
    I didn’t have a strong heart,
    Because I am tired some days
    Of facing the battles…
    I face each day.
    I have the heart to do them…
    Some days I don’t have the strength.

    Those days make my strong heart hurt.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 2, 2021

  14. When I heard my heart Beat…

    As the blood in my body
    Bled away… I heard my heart beat

    First softly
    Tap…tap… tap…
    Every minute
    Of
    Every hour
    Of
    Every Day…
    Tap…tap…tap…

    Each breath
    Robbed my body,
    And my heart beat
    Louder
    Knock… knock… knock
    And louder
    Bang—Bang—Bang
    And louder
    BOOMBOOMBOOM

    And my skin became
    Colorless, and
    My lips blue,
    And walking three steps
    Was as difficult
    As climbing a mountain.

    But my heart kept
    Shrieking
    Scream, Scream, Scream
    Until it
    Was silenced
    One night
    As the dead visited me…
    And I chose to live,
    And my heart
    Began
    To
    Thump, thump, thump…
    Until blood given
    To me by strangers
    Flowed in my veins
    And my heart relaxed
    Into its steady beat…
    I did not hear.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 2, 2021

  15. The best poem according to me that I wrote about heart is an older poem…I realized that almost all civilizations began their music with drums… and our heart is a drum… this is to be read fast… and I like to read it out loud…I hope you like it… by the way when I visited foster children and families those were called face to face meetings…

    Face to Face

    With our worlds behind us,
    We stand face to face.
    With the beat of drums of our distant lands
    We are different from where we came.
    I am who I am; you are who you are.
    My heart beating, your heart beating-
    The same rhythm of time,
    From Time’s beginning to Time’s ending.
    I can hear in my heart
    The sound of the Bodhran
    Haunting as it echoes its own beats of my heart.
    I know the history of the world behind me,
    Of good people and of bad.
    Their blood flows through me.
    I cannot deny though I have tried.
    They are those that have led me to here,
    Standing as I am who I am,
    But you know not this.
    Just as I know not who those are who stand behind you.
    They brought you to this place,
    Standing as you are who you are
    With the drum echoing the beats of your heart.
    The name of your heart’s drum
    Is unnamed to me,
    But I can hear it beating ,
    Just as you hear mine,
    Standing as I am who I am,
    As you are who you are,
    Looking face to face,
    Eyes into eyes,
    My heart beating, your heart beating.
    I do not know the echoes of your heart;
    You do not know the echoes of my heart.
    It is something that cannot ever be known-
    It is hidden between the beats of the drum.
    For a rest note,
    We stand,
    Waiting,
    For the choice to be made,
    Either to leave or
    To embrace,
    One pause,
    With my heart beating, your heart beating,
    Beating out the rhythm of the drums, while
    I am who I am, and
    You are who you are.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd

    1998

  16. Kansas Heartland

    Here compass plants line roads
    behind blue chicory borders gray
    with gravel dust in this dry August
    low-waters gone dry and rocky
    balers whining up and down rows
    raked high and dried overnight
    loaded trucks laboring with seven
    bales spiked on flatbeds moving
    to line distant fields for winter feeding

    twisting pot-holed roads
    two-tracks first hacked out
    by plow and pick pounded
    by horses’ hooves, spinning
    wagon wheels snaking down
    their arteries veins turning and returning
    very lifeblood leading beyond fields
    to elevators’ towering siloes
    Co-op gas stations roadside markets

    Road dust coating the backs of farmers
    riding tractors into town raising
    collective voices against marauding
    maws of megalopolises waiting
    to gobble up family farms berries
    ripe for the picking merging land
    into their mega-farms with hordes
    of over crowded cattle and hogs
    bleeding waste into watersheds
    polluting family wells poisoning
    the very air above the arboretum

    until cowed by unexpected valor
    in defense of their farms fueled
    by the pride of generations the
    predators pack up and leave
    fields trembling and coated
    with the stench of lingering fear

    mothers and fathers grandparents
    left wondering about ‘when’ and
    ‘next time’ for corporate greed
    to threaten what they hold as gift
    each new day wrapped in cardinal song
    spun from piles of morning cantaloupe
    seeds tossed for their gleaning
    every night the song of mockingbird
    a balm to hearts burdened by mud
    coating fields after the creek flashed
    in a sudden thunderstorm sealing
    over a thousand rows of soybeans
    even as other hearts overflow with
    the sweet largesse of new calves
    doting dewy hills come sunrise
    each tottering newborn a promise

    held tightly as bales wrapped
    in red white and blue flag-sheeting
    paeans pointing to hard work
    just another way to say how each
    of farm honors those brave ancestors
    of land run and wagon train
    their hope our hope centered here
    in Kansas: heart of America.

    Walt & Marie– keep reading and re-reading your offferings for this week! Get more of value each time!!

  17. The Secret Chambers of My Heart…

    There within my heart
    Is a chamber no one can find
    Unless I let them into it.

    It is where I keep
    The deep feelings
    That I fear to share
    For if they are
    Tossed aside…
    I am not sure
    That I have the strength…
    To be flung into the four winds…
    I am asking myself
    This question…
    Within in me
    Is the need
    To open
    That chamber door.

    It is hidden in plain sight,
    But unseen…

    More than once,
    I let someone in,
    And
    Each one crashed the chamber
    With their deceit.
    Because of them
    I keep it secret.

    I do not know the secret chamber
    Of your heart…for it is for you to know
    And you to open that door.

    It is the way with humans…
    We seek what we fear…
    We trust what we shouldn’t
    And then
    When we are sought
    Do we trust
    What others have bruised?

    Yet,
    Here I hold the key
    To that secret chamber
    Of my heart…
    Rubbing that key
    Between my fingers
    Feeling the engraved
    Hope in its structure,
    Knowing
    That within me
    Is the ability
    To trust in that key.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 2, 2021

    “Accident ruled every corner of the universe except the chambers of the human heart.”
    “None of those other things makes a difference. Love is the strongest thing in the world, you know. Nothing can touch it. Nothing comes close. If we love each other we’re safe from it all. Love is the biggest thing there is.”
    “The heart of any other, because it had a will, would remain forever mysterious.”
    These three quotes come from Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

    IT is a beautiful tale of love, and loss, and these quotes are the inspiration of this poem….

    • I made a slight correction to this poem later today….

      The Secret Chambers of My Heart…

      There within my heart
      Is a chamber no one can find
      Unless I let them into it.

      It is where I keep
      The deep feelings
      That I fear to share
      For if they are
      Tossed aside…
      I am not sure
      That I have the strength…
      To be flung into the four winds…
      I am asking myself
      This question…
      Within me
      Is the need
      To open
      That chamber door,
      Do I?

      It is hidden in plain sight,
      But unseen…

      More than once,
      I let someone in,
      And
      Each one crashed the chamber
      With their deceit.
      Because of them
      I keep it secret.

      I do not know the secret chamber
      Of your heart…for it is for you to know
      And you to open that door.

      It is the way with humans…
      We seek what we fear…
      We trust what we shouldn’t
      And then
      When we are sought
      Do we trust
      What others have bruised?

      Yet,
      Here I hold the key
      To that secret chamber
      Of my heart…
      Rubbing that key
      Between my fingers
      Feeling the engraved
      Hope in its structure,
      Knowing
      That within me
      Is the ability
      To trust in that key.

      Mary Elizabeth Todd
      August 2, 2021

  18. FAITHFUL AND TRUE

    The heart of a champion
    knows the perilous road of trials
    pain and tribulation.

    It is the revelation of heart
    that is tested and tried
    to cross the finish line.

    You can count on the heart
    of a champion, every single time—
    for its name is faithful and true.

    Benjamin Thomas

  19. THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSE

    She’s got heart,
    seductively brilliant, so inviting.

    Like the rush of warm, eager water
    caressing over the skin—exciting.

    Her sweet calm ray tangos on petals,
    in glee, visits a hungry garden—enticing.

    She is the true heart,
    of a dark universe, her bursts of light—are still fighting.

    Hopeless ride her mystic, golden waves
    into today, with no sense of tomorrow—no hiding.

    Benjamin Thomas

  20. No Doubt 3

    Every breath, heartbeat
    and word that I express
    is a prayer.
    Everyday I simply do my best,
    show up, aim to be present,
    try to open my heart.
    When I am successful,
    I also open my ears,
    so please continue.
    Grateful for everyone,
    I opt for civility,
    find it to be
    a shortcut to happiness.
    When I can see
    the perfection in others,
    perhaps they’ll recognize it too.
    Now, even my alone time is
    for everyone’s well being.

  21. Plain women have a heart…

    Before I was ten people
    Would stop my mother and say,
    “Your daughter is beautiful.”

    But all of that changed…

    The one that harmed me
    Took my beauty…
    Leaving
    My eyes always sad…

    A boy sort of ordinary…
    Not anyone I would pay attention
    Said, “Why do I have to sit
    By the ugliest girl in class?”
    It scorched my burnt heart.

    I heard it plenty of times…
    They didn’t care if I heard.
    Plain girls don’t have a heart
    They thought… but we do.

    The disappointment in my mother’s eyes
    Made me retreat to my room,
    Where I wrote stories, and poems,
    And danced and sang.

    The brunt of jokes by others hurt,
    But not as bad as when my mother
    Was asked…does cousin…
    Have a boyfriend,
    We have a friend…
    I was sitting there.
    Ma would say nothing
    Until later, and she would fuss…
    I would tell her it was fine…
    But I had a heart
    And had felt the sting
    Of the wasp.

    One day I read a story…
    From New Guinea,
    A woman plain and unchosen
    Worked hard, was admired of her abilities…
    A rich man sought by many mothers
    To marry their pretty young daughters.
    Instead, he noticed the plain woman
    Who was worth much…
    And he gave her father seventeen cows…
    He was asked why so many
    When one cow
    Would have paid the bride price…
    He smiled, “But now she knows
    She is worth seventeen cows to me.”

    I knew without him saying such,
    That woman stood taller,
    And held her head proud
    For that man saw her worth,
    And it is not in beauty
    That will fade,
    But in the value of who she was…

    I may be a plain woman…
    But I know my value…
    And my heart knows it also.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 3, 2021

  22. OUR HEART BEATS THE SAME

    Our skin,
    may be different,
    but our heart beats the same.

    Our outward appearance
    may vary,
    but we all bleed the same.

    Our race,
    may be diverse,
    but our tears fall the same.

    Our tongue,
    may be distinct,
    but we shall all die the same.

    Benjamin Thomas

  23. SET SAIL

    The heart beats.
    115,000 times a day.
    Without fail.

    So does the heart cheat?
    When it takes another way?
    Sets sail the opposite direction?

    It knows its time well,
    unbeknownst its master—
    at a pre-determined date, and not, a disaster.

    Benjamin Thomas

  24. REMEMBERING THE DAY

    There was a time,
    when her heart stopped.

    The emergency personnel,
    like gladiators—got a pulse.

    But after 40 minutes…
    Without precious life-oxygen.

    Her brain was dead,
    being fatefully starved of air.

    A machine, breathed
    for her instead, for a time.

    Her heart would beat
    again, for a time.

    Mechanically.

    They tried to replace
    my mother’s heartbeat.

    With machines.

    But her time
    had already come.

    And gone.

    Now my heart beats,
    and aches.

    Remembering the day—
    her heart stopped.

    Benjamin Thomas

  25. OUR LIFE-BLOOD

    Racism should not exist.
    For we were all created in the image
    and likeness of God himself.

    We are the same—color.
    Red.
    Underneath the brittle shell of our skin.

    Our heart pumps the awesome color,
    of our life-blood—
    again, and again, and again.

    Benjamin Thomas

  26. STEADY HANDS

    A tortured soul has scars.
    When opened, they still bleed,
    like old scabs rubbed the wrong way.

    Lacerations and deep cuts,
    require stitches of a different kind—
    Especially when they’re in your mind, and heart.

    A broken soul has profound wounds,
    that require steady, surgical hands
    of one who is not of this life.

    Benjamin Thomas

  27. Heart and Soul…

    Heart and soul a little ditty,
    It was never a part of any of my piano lessons,
    But I learned it from others…
    Listening to jazz this morning,
    I was thinking about the mellowness
    Of that song, and how the notes…
    Speak of how your heart and soul
    Are so connected…
    When you throw your heart into it
    And your soul shimmers
    With joy…
    There is light all around, and
    The impossible seems possible.
    I could be standing on the earth,
    But
    I am dancing with stars
    Shooting across the sky.
    Maybe a rainy day,
    But to me the sun
    Is blindingly bright.

    For me jazz touches
    Those notes,
    I do not know how to play,
    Let’s me caress
    The texture of my heart beating,
    While feeling the impression
    Of my soul singing.

    Heart and soul…
    The beat of who I am
    The weaving
    Of all the threads that are me
    Into this tapestry
    Made of wool, silk, rayon,
    Cotton, and linen…
    All a part of me…
    This heart and soul
    Is mine to give.
    No one else can make
    That choice.

    Heart and soul
    Play on, play on, play on.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 4, 2021

  28. The heart of the matter…

    He won’t amount to much…
    Look who his father is.
    They didn’t know my father…
    Whose heart was determined
    Not to be like his father…
    A man he feared more than loved.

    My father saw how his paternal parent
    Treated men whose skin was dark
    With disdain, seeing them as trash,
    And himself as privileged
    Because the skin he wore
    Was called white,
    A non-color actually
    Used in painting
    To lighten other colors…
    It should have brought
    Enlightenment,
    But instead brought
    The dark color of hate.
    He would not be like his father.

    The men of dark skin
    Took pity on a young man
    Trying to find his way,
    And took him hunting
    With them at night
    Where he learned to play the blues
    On a harmonica,
    A musical instrument
    He hid from his father
    For only sissies made music.

    My father who never took the dignity
    Of anyone for he knew what it was like
    To be robbed of his dignity.
    He would not be a father who berated his children,
    But encouraged them to fly like birds
    From their nest.
    He would never cheat on his wife
    Because that promise he made
    He intended to keep.
    He was not his father….

    It was his heart, his character
    That mattered…
    Not the words tossed at him
    For being Frank’s son
    Making him white trash
    Kicked away on a dirty floor.
    What he was called
    Was never who he was.

    I may have a paternal grandfather
    Who was a murderer of a man of color,
    But I am the daughter
    Of the man who knew
    Each one of us mattered.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    August 4, 2021

  29. LANGUAGE OF THE HEART

    Tears are silent,
    yet they speak—
    volumes.

    They scream,
    and purely seek—
    to be heard.

    They exist,
    as emotion,
    in another state.

    They consist
    of joy, as pain—
    or as volcanic hate.

    We all speak,
    the deep—universal
    language of heart.

    Benjamin Thomas

  30. Game

    Oh she had it in spades
    so much heart she couldn’t say no
    when everyone asked for her
    help her love her very self

    didn’t see through their pretense
    of friendship and too late learned
    how false their words clubs beating
    out their songs of pain despair

    her struggling to please always
    shower the world with perfection
    somehow combine the cards into
    a winning suit: game the Game

    called Fitting In and Being Wanted
    just for herself but they eluded her
    even the very diamond on her finger
    refurbished its chip hidden by the set

    yet she drew from discards sorted out
    a kind of stubborn strength seined
    from unlikely combinations black on red
    cascading kings and queens and aces high

    gambling in dim light and dark rooms
    across the green baize tricking the tricksters
    always getting better at spotting cards
    up sleeves and slid into pockets

    so that across the years and endless nights
    of solitaire she learned to risk just
    the right amount to win the bet
    finessing the hand she’

    • “even the very diamond on her finger
      refurbished its chip hidden by the set”

      So much said here, Pat. Often with your writing, I can take small snippets and see the wealth in them.

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