Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gambler's Epitaph


Oh, sit by my grave and consider my story
My fate is a lesson that many should learn
I gambled for fame and I gambled for glory
I gambled as if I had money to burn.

The day Mom was buried, my father he handed
a no-return ticket to Vegas to me
and said, "Go be robbed by a cold one-armed bandit
and sleep in an alley and call yourself free."

I rolled like a demon with gold in his pocket
I played with the best and I gambled and won
In neon-bright night skies, I rose like a rocket
For seventeen years I have never seen sun.

How green was my home on the felted card-table
How green was the money I gathered each night
I paid for my rooms and kept what I was able
and never suspected that I'd lose the fight.

"Son," said the doctor, "that playing will kill you,
the smoke and the heartache, the drugs and the booze.
You call sleep a stranger and live on those pills, you
won't live til New Year's, you'll gamble and lose.

"You've cut quite a swathe and you've been so successful
You've made a sensation and made it too fast
It sounds so cliche to say that it's stressful
but Death owns the house and he always rolls last."

"Well, dig me a grave and I'll cut my last card-deck
Lay me out flat as a four-flushing hand
I gambled my way out of sorrow and heartbreak
I'll sleep mighty warm with my mouth full of sand.

"Well, cut me a headstone and cut it so squarely
Mark it with spots like the spots on the dice
I'll have no-one say I was treated unfairly
I took my own chances and won once or twice.

"Yes, cut me a headstone and cut it so squarely
with no name or date and no word of my past.
When Death deals the last hand I know he'll win fairly,
I've lived in his house and he always deals last."

--image by ldayphotography via Poefusion

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

4 comments:

Michelle Johnson said...

Tiel this is Excellent. To think that people really live by card, dice and worst of all the hunger for more money (winnings). Well done. Have a nice day.

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderful, wonderful!

JAWilkinson said...

This was very enjoyable. The words are rarely more than two syllables and the simplicity that this creates makes it more powerful. Some of the lines are knock out. On a sidenote, your blog looks great.

Linda Jacobs said...

I like the way you captured the emotions involved with gambling.

A sad ballad!