We gobbled down our bread and gravy, readied for the game. One cowboy’d hit the covers. ‘Twas a doggone dirty shame.
We sat around the table. Every eye was glued on me. The table top was dimly lit, too dark for me to see.
So, I cranked up my old lantern. I saw hope in every eye. I dealt each player from the deck. One scowled, “The stakes are high!”
A cowboy said, “Before we start, bartender pour a round.” The bar-tend gave a nasty look but didn’t make a sound.
But then she walked on over and she poured the drinks with ease. She thumped the cowboy on the hat. Said, “Next time make it please.”
The cowboy kinda grinned cuz he was barely nine years old. His mother weren’t no bartender, just caring for her fold.
She’d poured em drinks of chocolate milk, then gave a look at me. “Make sure they get to bed on time and see that they go pee.”
She gave each one a kiss goodbye, then slipped on out the door. I knew she’d rather be at home. I’d seen that look before.
Then one of them spoke up. Said, “Grandpa teach us how to win.” His hat was sitting down so low I could barely see his chin.
So, we started out with Crazy 8, then Slap Jack and Go Fish. Not one time did I win a hand. My losing was their wish.
Playing cards with my grandkids is where I want to be. Especially when we’re acting like we’re cowboys living free.
And one thing is for doggone sure. They’d be my favorite crowd. No matter if they’re hard at cards or even when they’re loud.
For now, we’ll think we’re cowboys and for sure the best of pards. And I pray they’ll always cherish time with Grandpa playing cards.