Green Hills Literary Lantern





Postcard Sonnet: Poker Night



Small hours of the night, my father’s face in moonlight,               

excited whispers: he’s won at poker, his joy bigger

than his fear of my mother knowing he gambled what

they couldn’t afford to lose.  He’s won a camera,

Agfa Karat, 35mm rangefinder, nearly new.  My mother

masters its split image in time to take a picture of us all

at an amusement park,  me on our porch the day she

files for divorce.  Later I use the Agfa in photo class,

set my thumb against its stiff focus lever, work with

the rifting image I see, try to frame the jubilation of poker

night with the more ordinary days of being poor,

try to align the sense of joy and the sense of loss. 

I take these pictures over and over, my father’s face

in the moonlight, me alone on the porch



Stephanie Coyne DeGhett is a poet and fiction writer whose work explores life as it plays out along a stretch of northern border.  Recent fiction appeared in Descant, more is upcoming in  Southern Humanities Review; She has published poetry in Dalhousie Review and South Dakota Review, and more is forthcoming from Harpur Palate.  Her poem, "Anthracite Dreams" was a prize-winner in the 2009 Spoon River Poetry Review contest.  She is poetry editor for Blueline and teaches at SUNY Potsdam.