He was in his forties maybe, or older,
            Hard to tell through the smoke
            Under the lights

            Not a particularly interesting face but
            I couldn’t help looking from time to time

            He sat at the corner table
            Near the entrance of the bar
            Throwing the cards down without a snap,
            Gathering them with his thick hands
            Listlessly, and all over again

            His eyes never drifted to the door

            It took me a while to figure out 
            He was counting, counting . . .

            I had the urge to say something 
            But thought better of it –
            There was a crowd,
            I was growing tired,
            What would she think to find me
            Playing cards with a stranger
            When she arrived?

            It wasn’t the first time
            I’d kept myself in check,
            And I was only half his age


             Emanuel E. García, Sojourns2014