Casino at Noon by Linda Marics

I feel like a kid   again
      standing behind him at the blackjack table
what if they spot me and say I’m too young to be here?
your husband?     I laugh
No, my Dad!

so easy to forget my true age   how I appear
      to others now
the decades-old film perpetually frozen:    I am 19
innocence and sensuality   when all is possible
anything goes   and did

a man deliciously younger
says he’ll take me to Morocco sometime I   laugh
then leaning in close    I will see you later?
      I don’t think so
turning away he gives me a look
I know he gives all women d’un certain âge
on the casino smoking terrace

all around me
paper bills    fly traded for stacks of round disks
        a rainbow of dull colors
chips lying quietly in the provided slot
      or clutched frenetically
in transient hands

I watch a woman   60, 65?
     empty chairs on either side
she sits spellbound
following the relentless swirling dance
       dispensing   flipping      retrieving
over a green felt floor
her eyes transfixed on the dealer’s hands
yes I come here often    perhaps
      too often


Linda Marics is a Montreal teacher and writer and has been published in anthologies, The Gazette and co-edited 125 Douglas Stories and Drawings, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Douglas Hospital.She reads as often as life permits at poetry events around the city, including Poetry Plus, Leonard Cohen He’s Our Man and Poets in the Griffintown Cultural Corridor.She was 1st Runner-Up in the CBC writing competition Postcards from the Edge. She is co-organizer with Timothy Fain of It’s All Write, a reading event featuring local writers at the Beaconsfield Library.



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