Smallest Casino in the World

When a day takes its turn
for the better or the worse
it does not mean you are blessed
doesn’t mean you are cursed.

Five five dollar bills
fifty fifty cent pieces
saved my ass in Elko
when the Volvo overheated.

I parked the damned vehicle
untouchable until after dark
and walked into the bright cool
of the smallest casino in the world.

A shot and a beer and change
for a five got me going
at the bar playing a game
watching lemons destroying coins.

I accumulated diamonds
every ten in a row exploded
into a chest of cherries
and on the lid I could read my totals.

My machine made a lot of noise
a middle-aged waitress hovered
the bartender brought drinks
a small crowd of regulars gathered.

Rock music then country
then a polka it didn’t matter
Whatever was playing
my jackpot kept getting fatter.

Word got around the town
friends called friends and such
half of them said I would cool off
the other half couldn’t cheer loud enough.

When a day takes its turn
for the better or the worse
it does not mean you are blessed
doesn’t mean you are cursed.

The owner of the bar tried
to kick me out and lock the doors
but the threat of violence from the crowd
proved to be the stronger force.

Cops showed up and officials
in white shirts and ties too
a radio station’s mobile van
brought a DJ trying to get through.

Out in the street rumors flew
party up and down the block
I couldn’t move and all I knew
was that I was in a state of shock.

Finally as the clock struck one
I raised my fists and shouted
telling everyone I was done
and just wanted to cash out.

At the same time it seemed good
to say, ‘Drinks for everyone’
hoping it was clear and understood
that I would get what I had won.

I asked the bartender now my friend
to recommend a nice hotel
he said the Star and said they’d send
a limo over if he telephoned.

I was rushed into a back room
surrounded by men who seemed
equally polite and angry
and my winnings were redeemed.

A pile of cash was stacked up
by a goon with a poker face
then put in a brown envelope
then slipped into a briefcase.

Out the double front doors
of the smallest casino in the world
flowed a drunk crowd of scores
of older men and younger girls.

My limo drove around the city
several times while I waved
through the open top in the night air
at strangers and would-be winners.

After sleep in a bed with dreams
fit for a king or queen of the Basques
I was fed breakfast and escorted
to my car now fixed and waxed.

The local sheriff through a mustache
as furry as a jackelope said
get in your car get out of town
have a good day but don’t turn around.

When a day takes its turn
for the better or the worse
it does not mean you are blessed
it does not mean you are cursed.

I drove fast looking at my briefcase.
When I saw the billboards outside
of Reno I pulled over and took a breath
then kept on driving, satisfied.

Every once in a while I stopped
for gas and a burger and a clean flat bed
I never counted it but always hoped
it would take me as far as I was headed.

I pulled out the last crisp bill
in the heart of Buenos Aires
I got a room in a nice hotel
and dreamed about diamonds and cherries.

Between Nevada and Patagonia
lessons learned and learned again
could be read on every roadsign
as long as I kept my eyes open.

When a day takes its turn
for the better or the worse
it does not mean you are blessed
doesn’t mean that you are cursed.

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About mrsorenson

all over the place
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