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Philip Plays Patience

written by: James Gabriel

@James_Gabriel1

 

Sir Philip
sitting at
the club
playing patience

tendrils of smoke
break
over desiccated skin
once
plump and ripe

when he
just a dogsbody
standing in the
wadi
the second Boer
uniform
sticking to skin

the girl
walking over the
wooden bridge
above
eyes like
searchlights

meet
un-chaperoned
Old Mother
sees them
both

the smell
of brandy
fills his nose
as he lays the
six
of diamonds
down
on the table

looking at
the men
younger
than he by
decades
shaking hands
shuffle the deck

his eyes
blur the cards
black and red
swirl

the line
of her neck
hair lifted
up
skin like onyx
and a smell
so intoxicating

he begins
to lay down the
next round
his motions
slow

a stifled sob
the men do
not notice

Slaughter is upon you all, Old Mother!
I do not wish this, Old Mother!
Let me take her away from here, Old Mother!
I can make her my bride –
No, my servant, a housekeeper, Old Mother!

the dinner bell
rings
at the club
Sir Philip rises
gazing at the
fire raging in the
hearth

eyes glisten
trying to shut
out
the screams
in his head

James Gabriel

James Gabriel

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. James Gabriel is new to poetry. Inspired by the small moments in life that add up to who we are as people.
James Gabriel

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