9

I
I’m the eighth and newest member
of the Yarborough bridge club
Learning to play is slow going
we only meet once a month
Ann keeps talking about
her trips and her kids and her grandkids
while I try to remember
if the queen played yet
and if I’m on the board or in my hand

II
There is this lame saying
bridge and sex are alike because
if you don’t have a good partner
you’d better have a good hand
I see eight hands
with swollen, knobby knuckles and liver spots
Two of them are mine
and I lose count and I wonder
how I ever became so very middle-aged

III
Last night Ann forgot what time we were meeting
when we got there
she was still making dessert
(because you always serve a dessert when you host bridge)
she was flustered
and sent Cindy to the grocery
to buy nuts and candies for the tables
When I was dummy I set the bowls out
because she forgot
Sometimes we worry about Ann
but she’s still a better bridge player than I am

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