by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)
In Atlantic City,
wind and water claw at the boardwalk,
quickly reducing it to kindling.
Chance, like a coin slipping into a slot machine,
registers winners and losers on a neon screen,
complete with ringing bells and bright lights.
Late-leaving patrons before the evac orders
hurry to try their luck at various games of chance.
Blackjack, roulette, slots, wheels of fortune promote
both the odds and rewards of landing
on the right side of the table, or
race the dealer to twenty-one, but outside
the howling wind offers a bigger crap shoot
with the jackpot winnings of your life.
Storm shifts a few degrees north: survival.
Storm not shifting a few degrees south:
your house in ruins, your cars destroyed.
God’s plan not understood as
His throw of the cosmic dice rolls
as unpredictably as your next flip of the cards.
Who by fire, who by water?
The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.
If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/