You see them everywhere,
at race tracks, shuffling through
the discarded, maybe finding
a winner, as rare as a Quinella
of never-finished-in-the-money
nags. At Lottery venders, taking
other people’s quick pick losers
once they’ve shot their wad,
monthly welfare check, making
the rounds from one lucky spot
to another, dropping fifty a stop.
Hit a scratch off, invest the proceeds
on more tickets until all the money
is gone. Their need worse than any
drug as the big pay off never comes,
just the anticipation.
Outside of OTBs, bars, checking
all the butt caddies for stubs one
inch or longer, begging for lights,
spare change, another shot at winning,
two bucks short of a parlay, a hundred
million to one against.


Image Credit:Mr.TinDC
Alan Catlin has published over sixty chapbooks and full-length books of prose and poetry. Like old man river, he keeps rolling along. His latest full length poetry book is Last Man Standing from Lummox Press.

Leave a Reply