He took our quarters one by one.

Poolshark

He was an ancient gambler
long vanished from the window table
where the game became a way of life.
Dim-eyed and reptilian, Willie Provencher
sat on his favorite bench near the door and scanned the murk for fish.
we came ducktailed and dumb
from school to lose at nineball
to that dank and wrinkled shark
who held a dime store magnifying glass
against his eye to line his shots
before he cleaned the table.
He took our quarters one by one.

A fingerling anxious for the light,
I left that world. There’s no small change
in this Alaskan city where I live.
You can see earth’s inviting bend toward Asia,
and at times the coastal mountains buckle
clouds that form a vast and empty moonlit
tent above us. At times I long
to shine like bait in Willie’s hand.

–Tom Sexton

Tom Sexton

2 thoughts on “He took our quarters one by one.

  1. I have enjoyed the Kate Shugack series for the last several months and find myself visualizing the scenes you describe so vividly. (I am a graphic designer.) Have you ever thought about making this a TV series … like Castle?
    I had to describe the scene to my husband about Mutt taking out Gallagher and Kate having to show her who was boss or top dog. Gosh, I do love your books. Lynn Chapin

    Like

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