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from the November 2021 issue

scratch cards

Poet Shirmoney Rhode uses lotto cards as a powerful metaphor for parenthood in this poem.

some children
are like lotto scratch cards
to their parents
they buy tickets
for next to nothing
and they place all their
hopes and dreams
on that one ticket
then they score its surface
with a coin
or a small stone
or anything that will
make the silver come off easily
and if it doesn’t reveal
the numbers or symbols
that will translate into
a posh house or car
then that ticket is bad luck
a waste of money
and it ends up in
a denim back pocket
in the washing machine
and the ticket emerges
in bits and pieces
and that which has no use
will be discarded

scratch cards” © Shirmoney Rhode. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2021 by Andre Trantraal. All rights reserved.

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