Here's another one about my father. With fatherhood so imminent for me, I guess the topic is no surprise.
The Card Trick
I never understood how it did it.
The day was cold and rain spattered down
occasionally onto the windows of the kitchen.
The sound was metallic though the windows were glass.
We were sitting in the living room.
I was twelve, he was in his forties I guess; what
did his age matter to me then.
It was midday but darker than normal
because of the overcast sky.
He had the deck of cards in his hand,
all but the one card I held in mine.
It was a queen of clubs, and it was mine.
I possessed it. I had chosen it randomly
but it had become mine and I loved it like a
long-absent child. My queen of clubs.
He couldn't have known. There was no way.
I was careful to pick it at a random spot from the deck.
He never saw what was in my hand.
But, on command, when I walked into
that kitchen and looked where he told me
(in the freezer next to the ice cube tray)
the small square paper clearly said,
"Hi Joe. You have a queen of clubs.
Somehow, he had added one plus one and
proved it to be three. I accused him of cheating,
though I didn't know how. I checked the deck,
but it was the same we had used to play rummy
just days before.
I demanded to be told how he did it.
He refused, saying something about
magicians and secrets. It was only the second magic trick
I ever saw him do, and he has done no others
in the twenty years since.
And he will still not reveal it to me.