Cassandra at Bingo by Allison Thorpe

Though the hall is packed,
no one will sit near her

in this noisy temple
of tables and folding chairs.

Surrounded by their clovers
and animal feet,

their river of cards,
they are wary of prophesy.

Seduced now by games of chance,
Cassandra mutters her madness

of letters and numbers, a whispered
voice one step ahead of the caller,

even waits sometimes at the 7-11
for the timely scratch-off.

The money means nothing:
she buys doodads for children,

scatters dollar bills
in the crowded subway,

but she prefers bingo,
savors the illusion of belonging.

She watches the yearning disbelievers
gulp their giant drinks,

devour their greasy banquet.
Flames licking their heels,

they sniff the smoky air
unaware that Troy is burning.

Allison Thorpe
Allison_Thorpe-PICAllison Thorpe is a writer from Lexington, KY. A Pushcart nominee and author of several poetry collections, she has appeared in such journals as Appalachian Heritage, The Citron Review, Meat for Tea, South85 Journal, Scapegoat Review, The Meadow, Clapboard House, Connecticut River Review, and Freshwater.