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She is always the wheelbarrow—a piece

he can’t grasp. He is the cannon.

They never deal out property; the Deluxe

Edition, they’d rather fight with each roll

over New York and Boardwalk, Railroads

and Utilities. He’s yet to own Boardwalk,

but he manages to swindle the Railroads.

Occasionally, he is lucky to land in jail,

where he doesn’t have to mortgage property

to pay rent. She buys hotels early, casts

him to the ghetto of Baltic. Once, he boasted

three monopolies and won Free Parking.

They place $500 in Free Parking. He bagged

his earnings from the middle, revealing

the mustached man with his shoulders

shrugged, hat tipped. The man winked at a stack

of pastels tucked under her edge of town.

The game was fixed. She kept drawing

the good cards from Community Chest

and Chance. Her husband lived in the suburbs

and she was his landlord. Like his father,

he slipped off and got drunk on Boardwalk,

gallivanted for a while. It cost him everything—

she owned that, too. Fed up, he took out a loan

at 10 percent interest, paid her and passed Go,

collected two hundred dollars and made a run for it.

He got as far as Pennsylvania before she caught

him stealing her hotel shampoo. Clogged

barrel, she broke him. She gave the worst smile:

Cook me supper and I’ll let you stay.

from BangaloreFind it in the library

Copyright © 2013 Kerry James Evans
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Kerry James Evans Poems

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