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Poker with Mr. Murray After His Stroke

Shuffling and cutting the deck, he fumbles,
his fingers laggards, each follow-through
a synaptic aberration, his hit you? more
like hoodoo, his I raise like whoosh,
his call like auk, consonants not being
negotiable, vowels as soft as snowflakes.
Despite the drool worming its way
down the right side of his chin
and the upper lip tugging his mouth up
to a crooked smile, his eyes dance,
light and airy, and sparked by the slap
of aces on the kitchen table, at the way
they obliterate eights, his laugh erupts,
a flood of gurgles, and he reaches out,
maneuvering two piles of pennies into one.

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