Deepa Agarwal

Rookie (Almora, Uttarakhand, India)

Losing - Poem by Deepa Agarwal

Summer means listless days
struggling to find breath
in the indolent rhythm of card games.
Shuffling, dealing,
the eager grab, the troubled frown
should I call the trumps?
And the eventual
triumphant smack of the winning hand
on the table.
The superior smirk on the winner’s face

You play with what you have
What you get
And if you lose
it’s only a game of cards
you think.
But already you are getting
adept at the art of losing.
Cultivating the careless shrug
The helpless self-deprecatory smile
The sporting surrender.

It’s only a game—
and everyone loves a good loser.
You are loved
And you live in the gloating knowledge
Of toiling for a cause greater than yourself
Allowing others to win,
so generously
when the thunder blast of an unexpected win
flattens your heart beat

you cower
the winner’s frown feels like a death sentence
you stare appalled at the treacherous cards
that betrayed you, turned you traitor
interrupted the safe rhythm
of the listless summer days

the afternoon siesta
is no longer dreamless oblivion
but a tangle of nightmares
And
you can never pick up your hand again
with the same cheerful indifference
the confidence of the loser
Because
the winner’s cross weights you
and summer
has lost its meaningless sorcery.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 2, 2011

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 4, 2011


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