She turns over the Knight of Wands,
you breathe, she pauses
to count the swords on the next card,
note the direction
a horse faces in death,
how its eyes follow her hand
as she taps the table
and talks about the circumstances
of love, work, money.
The Page of Pentacles has mother issues.
In the Nine of Swords a man
cradles his face in his hands,
and she warns you about regret,
how it leads to The Hermit's trail.
It's a contract like any other,
even life—how we wake expecting
the day to be there for us,
hold up the sun, its end
of the bargain made
before anyone can remember.
On the way home, rain slicks
the sidewalks, polishes the leaves
on trees. All promises are temporary
based on context. Will the Hanged Man
eventually stop swinging or
turn his face to you and smile?
Grant Clauser is the author of two poetry books, Necessary Myths
(Broadkill River Press 2013) and The Trouble with Rivers
(Foothills Publishing 2012). Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review
, Cheat River Review
, The Good Men Project
, Mason's Road
, Painted Bride Quarterly
, Seattle Review
and others. He also writes about electronics, teaches poetry at random places and chases trout with a stick. Grant's blog is www.uniambic.com
more by Grant Clauser:
It Could Be Worse
There Be Dragons