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  • Gary Hunter

For Sweet Melissa (from my poetry class) Dec. 18, 2022

she called me a “card”

and I guess I am a joker

who’d love to be an ace

that would never pass as a king


but I don’t like cards

and would rather deliver

a one-fingered handshake

ask about your love life

or tickle your ribs

than beat you at poker


if your name was

Melissa Slattery

I just might call you

Delicious Flattery

or say something odd

about your hair or shoe size

or show you my wrinkles

and point at yours with a wink


think of me as

the hardening thorn

on a fragrant rose

some perfumed sarcasm

to prick your day


or perhaps the clown

pretending to be a decent guy


or that nice fellow

caught up in buffoonery


or maybe I'm just a card

who’s not playing

with a full deck

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