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We Play Patience
Side by side we sit.
I shuffle the cards,
begin the business
of setting out,
a pattern programmed
into muscle memory
over years of boring Sunday afternoons,
injunctions to be quiet while Father slept.
Seven columns, each
one card longer
than the last
and each with one card turned.
We begin, she makes her survey:
Red queen on that black king, put the ace here,
I think that’s it.
I count the other cards in sets of three,
cheat a little so that the play continues.
How much she relishes
this small ability,
orders these fifty-two soldiers
into their four battalions,
under her command.
A moment of power where
there is otherwise none.
-Beth Brooke (Second in her series of poems on her mum’s dementia)
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Bios And Links
is a recently retired teacher and education consultant. She lives in Dorset but was born and did important parts of her growing in the Middle East. The landscapes of both these places are strong influences on her writing. She has had work published in a number of online journals and has been placed in a couple of small poetry competitions. She loves writing poems and sharing them with other people.
has six books of poetry published. She has appeared widely in print, in webzines and poetry anthologies. She has won or been short-listed in several competitions and her collection ‘Where Flora Sings’, published by Hedgehog Press, was nominated for the Laurel Prize in 2021. Her latest collection, ‘Immersed in Blue’ was published in January 2022 by Impspired Press. She leads a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire and takes part in open mic sessions online and in person. She is currently working on a third poetry collection.
Website: https://margaretroyall.com/ Twitter:@RoyallMargaret