There were five of us playing that night,
Padge, Kieran, Neal and me –
and, stretched out in his coffin, Uncle Charlie.
We dealt him a hand each time
and took it in turns to bet for him,
waiving his losses, pooling his wins,
for what good were coins to him?
What could he win but his life?
Still, five of us played that night
and when we stopped it was daylight.
We left the cards with him
to remind him, forever, of that game
and Padge, Kieran, Neal and me
went up the road to our beds
and slept until we buried him,
then played until we had to agree
the good hands had gone with Uncle Charlie.