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Go Fish

Padded leather seats of a vintage booth,
dim yellow light shining through glasses,
and glimmering as the reflection hits the table.
Peppery gray hair that smells of VO5 shampoo and a flowery perfume,
the aroma of warm food fills the entire room,
a slick spot from someone's drink puddles next to my hand.
She sits in front of me holding her deck of cards,
“Go Fish”, she says.

Well-worn cards sit on the table in front of me,
their corners curling and ragged,
Face-up, but she pretends not to see,
I spread the new card out next to the others in their vaguely straight row,
As she calls out a card she knows I don’t have,
I check, just to make sure,
my small pudgy hand pointing at each of the images,
looking for the one she has asked,
“Go Fish”, I say

A marbled gray, woven couch,
Bright daylight streaming in from a window,
A warm, furry body resting its head on my lap as I stroke its soft ears.
The same cards sitting on the middle cushion,
Mine spread out face-up as always,
Hers in her wrinkled, shaking hand.
I can see her smile behind them,
“Go Fish”, she says.

An old picnic table faded and grooved with years of use,
The sunlight peeking through the gaps between leaves,
My cards sitting next to initials carved into the table long ago.
She waits patiently as I scan across my cards,
Although, by the subtle shine in her eyes,
I can tell that she knows I don’t have the card,
“Go Fish”, I say.

Spiky green grass shoots up from the dry earth,
Sunlight beating hot on my back, but glinting off the edge of her glasses.
Bugs climbing the stems of flowers as if they were mountains,
A ladybug flies off my knee.
I blow a dandelion as I await her answer.
The seeds float through the lazy summer wind and a few stick to her wispy gray hair.
“Go Fish”, she says

A padded car seat,
A feeble, dim light, glints through the small, car, window
Rain patters against the windshield and streaks down my window,
Like cold teardrops falling from the sky.
I trace the raindrops with my finger,
And race them to the bottom of the window,
The cards sit boxed up on the seat beside me,
Waiting to be used once again as they have been so many times before.
We wait for her to join us in the warm car,
But she seems to never come.
“Go Fish,” I say,
but this time, no one picks up a card.




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