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The Fifth R

by Maureen Glaude

Ask me why
I carry
a letter “R”
in my wallet

I almost left
the word game tile
beneath the hotel bed
before check-out,
but while on my hands and knees
searching for an errant pill
I found the other runaway
and quickly slipped it
into a safe place
for the drive home

all the previous evening
we’d played Upwards,*
my sister and I,
until eyes were closing
(mine not hers)
as we'd sat at the little oval table
by the window’s ground floor view,
cozy as it seemed, beneath the lamp,
not cottage-like but close

“R” must have taken its flight
during pack-up of the board and letter bag
and who knows what its fate might have been
or that of our next inevitable game
(confession: we’re addicts)

What word rich in abundant R’s
might not have been feasible
in its absence?

My sister keeps a precise score sheet
and tracks the emergence of every letter
to know the balance in the draw-out bag
and this hawkeye’d remember
there are five R’s
belonging to the game set
and wonder where the last one went

so in my wallet the wayward “R”
remains secure

till I reach home
determined not to be
remiss in the fifth “R”





* Trademark Parker Brothers Games

11/28/2006

Author's Note: draft "Upwards" (which I discovered on here actually, while looking for a Scrabble-like game that writers enjoy) is like Scrabble in some ways, but allows stacking, words on top of other words, etc.

Posted on 11/28/2006
Copyright © 2021 Maureen Glaude

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 11/29/06 at 04:48 AM

So far, so good. Very good, actually.

Posted by Christel Crews on 11/29/06 at 09:24 PM

a very pleasant piece, maureen, you take the reader to the scene and include them in your moments with your sister.. a great write!

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 12/03/06 at 02:31 PM

A delightful poetic anecdote! Sounds like a great game. Glad you found the 'R'!

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 12/03/06 at 05:38 PM

Captivating story poem. I like how it reads like a poetic journal entry. A good plug also for Upwords and Parker Brothers; will have to try playing it sometime. :o)

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