How to Walk Among Gamblers Unnoticed

HONOURABLE MENTION FROM WRITE ON ISSUE 53


BY JADE WILSON, YEAR 9, KAIAPOI HIGH SCHOOL


When the sun starts to glisten on the rims of the empty amber bottles, start walking along the outside of the tangled wire.

Whistle a tune to entertain the possibility of trouble. A jaunty song is best.

Come with your shoes raw and beaten from running down the dusty streets at dusk.

Be quick over the fence to the race track.

If the wind accompanies you, thank it politely and don it as a hat to hide under should conflict arise.

Plant both feet on the asphalt and hold your head high.

Laugh until the sound of your voice mixes with the clamoring of horses hooves.

The horses are racing. Pay no mind to which one is fastest.

Wait for your voice to mingle with the desolate souls of the gamblers, then begin to blend into the crowd.

Eyes down. Catch only the glint of dropped coins and the flutter of notes with your eye.

Among bottles, plastic, and tin, search for forgotten change until the gold and copper turns silver in the moonlight and the notes begin to fly away.

Hurry home with your pockets full. Mother is waiting worriedly and you know she needs every last cent.



This poem is a part of the Honourable Mention series, for those pieces of writing submitted to Write On Issue 53 (Summer 2019/2020) that we couldn't quite fit into the magazine.


© Write On: School for Young Writers and the poet, 2020