Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gamble for Writers' Island


When we went to Foxwoods
a few years ago,
my mom had such a successful
time playing the Lucky
Seven machine

I remember the grin
on her face when I
found her in the non-
smoking casino
standing like the Statue
of Liberty with her hand
up flagging me down.
And there were
the three red sevens
lined up like soldiers.

After she was paid her 1,199
we meandered around
other casino rooms
and eventually settled
at a different bank
of machines: she in
front of a Lucky Seven
and me a 5X Diamond
a few seats away from her.

I can still remember
her calling out to me
every time she won:
the three green sevens,
the three purple sevens,
and twice more
the three red sevens.

Everyone around her
was cheering her on.

The only ones she
didn’t get were the pink
sevens that paid 500 coins.

Just before leaving
we walked through
one more time
and she put a $20 bill
into yet another
Lucky Seven machine
and, of course, this
time she got the pinks.

I should have known
then that this winning
day was going to be
our last good time
together at a casino.

But there was no message
in the clanging bells
announcing her success
that less than a year
later she’d be in the hospital
too weak to even
put her own cannula
into her trach
never mind a quarter
into a Lucky Seven
slot machine.


paisley said...

i just don't get it.. this whole thing called life becomes a sicker more twisted joke at every turn...

you told this magically....

shubd07 said...

Hi Linda

I think probably nothing prepares us for The Gamble of Life perhaps because the stakes are the highest ever... that of our Happiness ! And it is also like one of those computer games ... no matter how skilled you are .. no matter how many levels you may go up to ...eventually the machine gets you !!

anthonynorth said...

I've a simple philosophy for life. It sucks. Therefore I always plan for the worse and hope for the best.
This way, the good surprises outnumber the bad.
Until, of course, the 'big one'.

gautami tripathy said...

I kind of love your mom! And of course my mom too!

word by word

One More Believer said...

that was awesome.... gave me chills... i loved the way you told the story... it was the best of times, the worse of times.. comes to mind.. thank you

tumblewords said...

It's enough that we know it's going to happen someday - to know when is... well written heart wrenching poetry!

gkgirl said...


this was heartbreaking
and well done....

Linda's Poems