Don’t Invite Me To Play Pool

“Don’t Invite Me To Play Pool”

–Amy Engle


National Poetry Writing Month 2018 Poem #10


The cue feels awkward in my hands.

It’s been years since I’ve done this.

I’m nervous under these conditions:

Surrounded by dozens of rough,

Foul-mouthed scoundrel types.

But I’m with my amazing siblings,

Which brings me a level of comfort.

I pass the cue to my brother and let

Him play our sister while I attempt

To remember all the strategies.

Sitting back, I let off a number of

Quick-witted comments to make them

Less embarrassed when they miss.

After several rounds, no one has

Hit anything in, so I tag myself in.

My confident expression is replaced

By uncontrollable laughter as I scratch.

The white ball is retrieved and we

Discuss the proper rules for continuing.

A few rounds later, I scratch once again.

Shaking his head, my brother takes

The cue back and resumes the turn.

We alternating taking missing shots

And then switching in at every scratch.

My sister is the most experienced and

Yet she says that she is out-of-practice.

Nearby players take pity on us three

And teach us some helpful tricks.

Just as I’m about to hit in the last

And final striped ball into a pocket,

The white ball taps in the eight.

A fit of giggles accompany my loss

Before we rack ’em up once again.