Poem: Roulette

roulette

Roulette

The ball rolls, bounces and spins.
The crowd holds its breath,
anticipating, against the odds,
their magic number.

It stops. Money, in small plastic chits,
designed to lessen the loss,
changes hands.
And it begins again.

The wild card. The odd number,
the stacked odds when you play with fate,
all for the thrill, your mind lost
to passion and hope and the excitement

of beating the odds.

I do not gamble. I have lost enough
to set myself up for loss yet again.
There is no thrill in the game.
I have been drained of hope and pretense

that the fates favor me.
Better to run under their radar,
to deprive them of the chance to crush my hopes
and leave me broken.

I have become a student of the old ways.
Simple. True. Faithful.
I need less now than then, and with that less,
I have more to lose.

Leave others to play. They believe
in their place in the pantheon of gods and fates.
You watch, wondering how long they can lose
and still believe.

About this poem

One of the eye openers when I entered therapy after my divorce is that I was nothing special, that all the mistakes I had made, all the struggles I fought have been fought by countless others before me.

The good news about that is that I did not have to create a whole new way of healing and growing. Others before me had already forged the path. I only had to take it. And so it was that I learned I can do anything, without gambling on new ways. The path is already there.

The roulette wheel was photographed in an antique shop in Cambridge, NY.

Tom

2 comments

  1. I always look forward to your poems and I always so enjoy them.

    “I have become a student of the old ways
    Simple. True. Faithful.
    I have less now than then, and with that less,
    I have more to loss.”
    I really like that verse!

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