Hattie L. Rogers
1844 – 1917
The playing cards of life are a stacked deck.
As soon as you begin to breathe
You begin to die and disintegrate.
All of the winners in life
Eventually end up the losers.
You enter this Big House with nothing.
Nothing but a cracked soul, a cursed heart
And that stacked deck of crooked playing cards.
Your destiny, my friends, lies in the dust.
So I figured early on, like King Solomon,
That there is no use; it is all futile and hopeless at best.
When I came to this sad realization
About life on this staggering planet,
I decided the only worthwhile meaning in living
Is in finding true happiness,
Even in the midst of hopeless despair.
Even in the midst of this mocking gaping graveyard
That lusts for flesh and blood
Like Odysseus’ giant with the one eye
Like a carnivorous Scylla, hiding high up in its dark perch,
Up there in the insidious shadows,
Awaiting another human meal at noontide.
So, what happiness did I find in my 73 years?
Years that seemed to fly by like a hummingbird in April.
I found ineffable joy
In the phenomenal nativity of my twin boys.
Found indescribable ecstasy
In the tender embrace of my loving husband,
Found incomparable elation
In the survival of my children and grandchildren.
Living descendants, you are always welcome to loiter at my grave.
Bring a pack of cards though.
I am always up for a new ante.