Spider Solitaire
by Sara Clancy

Against protocol, the red queen
follows the black king. The tactic
is to uncover hidden resolve and I focus
on the comforting binary

of winning. Move the three of clubs
and start a run that covers four minutes
of a difficult conversation and when I find
an ace to complete the suit

I admire the perfect array
of consequence. Yes, even as I listen
while you read me the results
of your tests, I will tick off a sensible

strategy arranged in ascending
priorities: every contingency
accounted for, every single
possible card played

Sara Clancy graduated from the writer’s program at the University of Wisconsin long ago. Among other places, her poems have appeared in The Madison Review, Teemings, Houseboat and Owen Wister Review. She lives in the Desert Southwest with her husband, their dog and a 20 year old goldfish named Darryl.