I’m No Scrooge, But…

…too much sentimentality and I tip towards the dark side.  Christmas walks a fine line.  I do still love the traditional carols – mostly the hymns with a few dollops of Victorian cheer.  I’ enjoy a rousing Fa-la-la-la-la, but Frosties, Rudolphs, little drummer boys, and mamas kissing Santa push me right over the edge.  It’s why I do my Christmas shopping early and spend more time hanging out in the Poets’ Pub and other dives.

I do agree with Gina, that the ordinary things hold a special kind of magic.  I loved the poem by Pat Schneider.  I would have liked to write something that fresh and simple, but suddenly These Are a Few of My Favorite Things started looping in my head and I had to switch gears.


In the Cardspan am playing card

A playing card’s a mundane thing

commonplace and dull.  This one

was the five of hearts, a low number

unweighted with great significance,

though all numbers carry some magic.

The card was well-worn with a scuffed

Pan Am logo on its back. It knew

a bunch of games – poker, gin rummy,

Go Fish!  Money had been won and lost

on its say so. Once or twice the card

had even been kissed.  More often

someone slammed it face down

on the kitchen table.  But no one

had held it for a very long time.

One day, on the day her heart lay broken

in pieces on the kitchen floor, she remembered

the deck at the back of the drawer, remembered

how Grannie used to tell fortunes with that deck

to women who knocked quietly on the back door.

The girl always figured Granni knew she hid in the pantry

listening to secrets, learning what king, queen, jack,

joker and every number stood for, how they combined,

complemented or opposed.  Granni had a way of teaching

without teaching the heritage her daughter hated.

Five of hearts – loss, sadness, depression, grief, jealousy.

It was the first card she turned over.  The table wobbled,

2000px-Playing_card_heart_5.svgshifting her carefully laid spread out of alignment.

She grabbed the card, folded it in half again and again,

shoved it under the wonky leg steadying everything.

Her heart rate returned to normal.  She read the cards

one by one, scribbling notes on the tablecloth.

Two hours later the telephone broke her focus.

“Hi Mrs. M.   No, Granni died a while ago, but I read.

Yes’m, she taught me.  Ok, that’ll do.  See ya Monday.”

This entry was posted in dVerse, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to I’m No Scrooge, But…

  1. Lona Gynt says:

    Edges fold and
    Crease back and
    Up on the straight
    Corners, a number
    And a bit of processed
    Cellulose teaching
    Resonance and support
    And of coarse the
    Viscitudes of the
    Hearts beating
    Out one truth
    And giving a leg
    To stand on.
    Ain’t it a fact
    Has to
    Have an

    💜 this. We both brought grandparents into OLN 🙂. Check this out, she hasn’t dVersed, but see what my friend Tosha wrote this same week too.

  2. rosross says:

    This was a great read. Tarot is a wonderful psychotherapeutic tool which allows us to access our subconscious and unconscious levels.

  3. Gina says:

    a long time ago my best friend and I bought tarot cards, secretly, and tried to read them, we had a lot of fun but some readings seemed to be quite accurate and after a while we stopped. your amazing poem brought a lot of those memories back. the mention of Granny and her talent, maybe the cards were just an instrument and you inherited her magic of ordinary wisdom, well that was my reading of your words. thank you for participating, I am so very glad I did not miss this!! i like how you take the simple and make it magical, the 5 of hearts under the table leg, the significance of its use and position creates a new story of its own. glad you enjoyed Pat’s poem and sorry if the favourite things are still playing on loop!

  4. Grace says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely story of your grannie and the magic of the playing cards. Really enjoyed this ordinary game too.

    Wishing you Happy Holidays!

  5. annell4 says:

    Sometimes it works just that way.

  6. rob kistner says:

    This was absolutely fascinating to read, really wonderful… thank you Christine, enjoyed thid…

  7. Frank Hubeny says:

    One way to pass on one’s heritage: “Granni had a way of teaching
    without teaching the heritage her daughter hated.”

  8. Rommy says:

    Sometimes the most mundane things have the most magic, especially when they connect us to loved ones who are no longer with us.

  9. rothpoetry says:

    This is a most interesting peom/story. Playing cards so common yet with so much meaning.

  10. There is a certain level of comfort, in doing routine things that takes our minds off the stresses of daily live. For myself, it’s petting the 3 gorgeous cats, who my apartment and life, with love. Grounding myself, during times of severe depression, anxiety/panic attacks or bouts of agoraphobia.

  11. scotthastiepoet says:

    Lovely idea and so well realised – truly a joy to read – thank you and I’ll be back here for more in the New Year, for sure…

  12. I love this story… all that thing the playing card went through… I can see you holding it (then folding it) a great use of it at the end..

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