Avoiding the stares of the jokers

arranged around the common room,

I shuffle through the (full) nuthouse

in a suit I didn’t choose.

I’m nearly decked by a crazy eight

pretending to club me as he’s drawn away.

Our dealers serve us remedies on

plastic trays in plastic cups;

I used to admire their shapes,

round, oval, and diamond,

but now I just swallow them up.

They are black and red and burn on the way down.

A lot of the others will hold, flush, trade their pills–

fold them into secret places–

hide them close to the vest.

They become poker chips.

The others chatter: bartering, bargaining–

dreaming of one day finding a spade

to dig themselves out of here.

But my cards are on the table–

pure white and soft.

I have no heart to play.


2 Responses to “Solitaire”

  1. An innovative and interesting angle on which to approach this sensitive scenario. You have captured the scene, mood and back-story perfectly in the vernacular voice and tone of one who is different from the group. Very well done.

    • Sarah Haynes Says:

      Thanks for your comment!

      I initially just wanted to play with language related to the games of Solitiare, but it definitely went its own direction. Words, writing, life…are like that.

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