A Poem from My Poetry Site https://williampadgettblog.wordpress.com/

The Fortune

My Fortune

I
A shout and a chilling scream caught my ear
As I stepped out of the downtown drug store.
I spun! There! The ruckus. I gagged my fear.
Two men shoved a Gypsy against a door.

Charging, I slammed my shoulder into one
And grabbed the other’s jacket at his chest.
The man ripped himself loose. Their freedom won,
They got out of there and gave up their quest.

“Oh, Gypsy, turn away your gleaming smile,
For your dark, scheming eyes give me a chill.
Your type of reward cannot be my style
Your ‘thank you’ is enough to fill my will.”

Her assailants were gone, what was her need
That she would gift me with some witchy deed?

II
As she slipped a trembling frail hand in mine,
She turned her stooped form towards a closed door.
A wave of calmness told me I’d be fine.
I had never noticed this place before.

We entered a dark room steeped in incense.
A dim light hung above a crystal ball.
There, a coal black cat, yellow eyes intense
Under an antique table near the wall.

Crooning, the Gypsy sat me in a chair
So the crystal ball was before my face
She sat facing me, my eyes met her stare
She took an aged deck of cards from their case.

Can evil come from saving someone’s life?
Surely this Gypsy will not cause me strife.

III
She had me cut the deck with my left hand.
Flipping the cut card, she slumped back in shock.
“Help me, I’m Carmen! You must understand.”
Then she put the ten of spades back in stock.

Carmen laid the cards in columns and rows.
She indicated I was the king of clubs.
The thirteenth card right and left were dreaded foes
The threes of diamonds and spades were flubs.

Once more the Gypsy retorted to the air;
Mixed English and unknown tongue she spewed.
A fierce battle was fought I don’t know where
In the fight for me, a win she pursued.

I do not believe in fortunes and such;
Was this real or did she have a good touch?

IV
The cards up and down from my ill-fated king
Included a happy change, the queen of hearts.
A girl with auburn hair; what a great fling.
But the three and four of hearts, oh, that smarts!

The Gypsy moaned and her gaze moved up high
I could tell she wanted to bring good my way.
Fate seemed to stack the cards making her cry;
Did I cheat fate when I saved her this day?

The diagonals, plus cards to the right
Started with the six and two of spades with tears.
Carmen appeared beside herself with fright,
The three and eight of clubs hit like sharp spears.

In agony, Gypsy Carmen shrieked loud.
Trembling in my seat, I prayed, my head bowed.

V
The seven, five, and nine of spades struck next
Oh, what game did we play; cards or my life?
The Gypsy spoke; her mind an ageless text.
“These cards so far are obstacles or strife.”

Add to these the seven of clubs reversed
This mortgaged my house and made Carmen wail.
Oh, end this pain, for now my life is cursed
Saving a Gypsy, I crossed her world’s veil.

The next card up was a spade, the dreaded ten.
Great trouble loomed, but then her face got bright.
The eight of spades reversed caused her to grin.
“The bad is thwarted and we have won the fight.”

Now I ask, “Did she pay her debt to me?”
Was her thanks a great show? Uhmmm, could that be?

-William

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7 thoughts on “A Poem from My Poetry Site https://williampadgettblog.wordpress.com/

    • Thanks, Elise

      From the comments of a couple of critters in the past, I became a little worried about the “dryness” caused by a lot of references to card placements used in fortune telling.

      I really didn’t know how to solve that because the story is not about fortune telling per say, but rather, about the drama between the fortune teller, the “customer”, and the ever deepening doomed future.

      I laughed as my mind begun to see the reluctant customer cringing in shock as each card brought more disaster in his life. Too, I thought of all the times I played Pinochle and got one or two cards short of an outlandish hand.

      It was not important to me to establish Carmen as a victim to the cards or a great entertainer who was giving the customer her best. That was designed to be a part of the intrigue.

      Anyway, what do you think? Do you think I went too long with the cards or did you begin to lose interest and stuck it out because we have been sharing comments?

      Your thoughts are very important to me because I want to wow my reader(s) and some feedback is good!

      Thanks so much for your time!

      Yours,
      -William

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Elise

      My last reply was out of order. You told me what you thought and I should have taken you at face value. I am sorry. I just have had that reservation on the back of my mind for awhile, and I just blurted it out at the first prompt!

      I am glad you enjoyed this. You made my day! Thanks. šŸ˜€
      Yours,
      -William

      Liked by 1 person

  1. William I have no problem with you asking questions. I didn’t think the bit with the cards was too long – however I am unfamiliar with the meaning of the various cards when just the names are given. For example are the seven, five and nine of spades always bad cards? Overall though, the effect was humorous.

    If you’re after more detailed feedback I suggest you post your poem on Scrib šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Elise
      I got my card information from an old book, Fun With Cards” copyright 1932, which I found at an antique shop. I did combine a couple of difference methods so I had enough bad cards to keep the suspense going. Not all methods used the “reverse” which is whether the extra pip (heart, spade, club or diamond) in an odd number of spots is pointed down and maybe special markings on special decks because I noted some even number reverses.
      Diamonds are wealth, hearts are happiness, clubs are fame, and, spades are, well, obstacles. The numbers represent certain ‘events’ within those four categories.
      But, as you noted, humor and not the knowledge of card variables, was the crux of the poem.
      Thanks so much for your feedback. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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