Playing War with my Daughter by Charlotte Matthews

Playing War with My Daughter


I stare at my half of the deck
thinking how this game is pure

luck, then of how luck is more than
itself, how it grows exponentially.

At this moment
much is on the line.

She puts down a jack.
I put down a jack.

We both flip over three cards,
place them face down

until the moment of truth:
who’s lost what to the other.

This morning we carved our
initials in the newly poured

sidewalk, made the letters so
small they’d go unnoticed

to a passerby. Some day
we both may need

to be reminded
of who we once were.

Charlotte Matthews
Charlotte Matthews’ most recent book Whistle What Can’t Be Said (2016) chronicles part of her experience with stage three breast cancer. In addition she is author of Still Enough to Be Dreaming (2007) and Green Stars (2005). She teaches in The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program at The University of Virginia. She lives in Crozet with her husband, her two children, a black lab, and a hive of honey bees.

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