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Only a Small-Time Gambler

"How fragile the balance is and yet I make choices."

Published onSep 17, 2023
Only a Small-Time Gambler

Photo by Jonathan Lusilva:

If people are still getting sick, are still dying,
can the pandemic be over?  I don’t know the definitions
but I look around at the maskless and understand
people no longer care. 

We try not to think about death
as if the thought is an invitation. 

How fragile the balance is and yet I make choices.
I don’t push the counters all in.  No, I don’t
challenge Lady Luck.  Try to avoid
her direct gaze and hope
she moves on. 

Check out the thick borders of daffodils and the
pink frosting of the flowering trees
that overwhelms the sky.  There is no doubt
that spring, full-blown, has arrived, the season
of small hungers when the predators
have a long twilight in which to hunt. 

All this extra sun reminds me that it’s time
to wash the windows, plant the nursery pots.
If not tuck perennials into beds, at least
into larger containers.  And what should I do with
fuchsias and geraniums overwintering in the garage
when I know the last date for frost, when I know
the likelihood of another cold spell looming.

 Chris Dahl hopes to cup a handful of murky pond-water  and reveal another world half-hidden in this one.  Her chapbook, Mrs. Dahl in the Season of Cub Scouts, was published after winning Still Waters Press “Women’s Words” competition.  Her poems have been placed in a wide variety of journals—most recently in Bennington Review and Whitefish Review—and she has had poems nominated both for Best of the Internet and a Pushcart Prize.  She lives in Olympia, Washington where she serves on the board of the Olympia Poetry Network and edits their newsletter. 



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