Death of a Gambler
It's hard to see in the dark
But your eyes grew accustomed
To the gloom of the winning line
Short odds on the grey market
On foggy days in November
Through the mists of September
You peered at the finishing line
Anything less than a head and you're in
On the flat or the hurdles.
But as you tried to spot the winner -
Your eyes failed again and again -
Horses, cards, roulette, dice -
You realized the odds are as stacked
As they were in life. But by then you'd lost
Money, house, wife.
I never found you feeling
Sorry for yourself,
Maybe you did alone at night,
When nights in the western desert
Came back to taunt you.
You knew you were lucky to survive
'Used up all my luck in one go'
I remember you saying
Just before you died.
When I closed your eyes
I said 'Good luck'
Strange thing for an atheist son
To say to an atheist father:
But, you never know.