Stevieslaw: Card Players at Ekphrastic Review


My poem “The Card Players” is up today at Ekphrastic Review.   Here is the link:

And here is the poem:

The Card Players

Each night, these three—
Nathan, Henri and Charles
make ritual of rummy.
“To pass the time,”
they might offer,
should they so honor your question.
Henri, in beige, so often wins,
the others call him master.
His word is law in all things agricultural.
Poor Albert, skilless,
watches wordlessly,
drawing comfort from his pipe.

I paint and sketch
And daily dream I hear—
“Paul, won’t you play?”
“Yes,” I say in a wink.
My spattered hands somehow
completed by the cards,
I sit with hat drawn deeply down
to hide my thought-filled eyes.
I play with verve and brilliance.
I am gallant in my dream.
But the invitation never comes—
and its lofty cousin, acceptance,
never finds its way to me—
to poor Cézanne,
the master of rejection.


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