Five Ways Not To Play Poker - Emily Laing

You don't play poker with your hands,
you play it with your eyes.
Some wear glasses,
I call them cheats
Nick doesn't have a poker face for nothing.

You don't play poker with your heart,
you play it with your head.
Fold unsuited two's and three's,
but raise your pockie aces
Simon doesn't part with his money easily.

You don't play poker for a handshake,
you play for cold hard cash.
Bring your queens
and a box of beer
Nads' place is always social.

You don't play poker to look cool,
you play to lose yourself.
Pray to the card gods
and stare down the dealer
I know Dan's bluffing the flush.

You don't play poker if you don't enjoy it,
you play something else instead.
Part with your money,
I'm happy to take it.
I know I've got you covered.

Ngatea - Emily Laing

Backyard summers and sausages with sauce.
Beer, bourbon and underage trouble. 
Garages that smelt like JPS reds and too much LYNX,
skateboards worn down and wobbly.
T shirts three sizes too big and knees raw with excitement,
dirty jokes and dusty pick-up lines.
Smiles only expanding for the lip of a bottle,
tongues moistened for blue Zig Zags.
Feet graze the road doing forty,
hands are waved at regular faces.
Stolen flowers and torn books,
shoes too big to fill.
Faces tell stories of fathers' temper,
and dreams bigger than gas station forecourts.
Twelves, eighteens, twenty fours on special,
Scrumpy hands on occasion.
Listening to music some parents would call old,
dancing to our own tune something sweet.
Drinking from the hose, green skin so thick,
navigating streets blindly with ease.
Wasteland, rocks chipped and concrete gaping,
tyres that have never reversed.
Rivers in which nothing could survive,
dirty brown, tainted womb, 
giving life, or some form of.
Freckles on peeling noses and shoulders
weathered by confines and picket fence.

Contributor's Note

Hello I am Emily. 20 years old from the Coromandel. This is my third and final year at Waikato Uni and the pieces I am submitting are from Tracey's 2nd and 3rd year creative writing papers.


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