Wheel-chaired into the lobby

from his assisted care room,


the elderly Jewish gentleman

squints into bright camera lights,


accepts the lottery check,

smiles at the television crew.


The newspaper reporter asks,

Was this a computer pick


or did you already have

some numbers in mind?


He focuses on her microphone,

as his hand rubs the sleeve


of the frayed gray sweater

covering his faded blue tattoo.




Author’s Note66489 was awarded Poem of the Week on Poetry Super Highway April 19th – 25th, 2010. It was most recently published in the Mensa publication Calliope Magazine in May 2012.




Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, now lives in University Place, Washington. He has a 2015 contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. Motto: Long Weekends Forever. www.authorsden.com/carlpalmer.