When Grandma Wins at Bingo

We four get to go
To Denny’s
Fried chicken in baskets
A mound of hot crisp fries
Our oily fingerprints all over
The paper mats
The four of us coloring
Laughing and gulping
And grandma with her bingo wins
Fresh under her Irish hands
Her purse ajar
On her lap breathing the winnings
A sweet aroma
To the air
On the way home we stop at the Kmart
Each of us gets a toy
The doll I saw on television
New play dough and markers
At home grandma laughs again at those winnings
At how luck came when she was down
The winnings turning her life into
Something more beautiful

Then there are the days
When there are no bingo winnings
Grandma returns from the basement of St. Patrick’s Church
Her purse holding on
Like a defeated friend
To her elbow
We sit quiet knowing the sound of disappointment
We eat cube steak
And instant potatoes
When we ask for a dollar for the candy store
She snaps, “You think I’m made of money!”



About the Poet:  Rebecca Villineau is a poet and a social worker. Her poems have appeared in Vox Poetica, Spillwords Press and upcoming fall/winter issue of The Stray Branch. She lives and creates in New Bedford, Ma..



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