I sat there, six years old watching,

a 12 oz. Gansett, the beer of Rhode Island,

carefully spilt between two small glasses.

The cribbage board comes out,

the cards are shuffled, then dealt,

the two men in my life,

the “Jickey” and Dad.

The little old man winks at me,

that twinkle in his eye.

We sit at the kitchen table, 

as cards are dealt. 

“You deal a hand like a foot”,

they look at each other,

opponents bound by blood.

Father and son battling it out,

I listen as dad counts,

the pegs move along the board.

No small talk, only counts,

already know the weather,

already know the Red Sox are out.

They talk with their cards,

shuffling, dealing, moving the pegs.

Soon, the last bit of beer is gone,

the pegs placed back in their hold,

the cribbage board returned to its box.

Dad and I get ready to go,

“Got a long drive ahead of us, Pa,”

I look at the two of them, 

a quiet spectator of my own future.


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