BINGO! We have a winner!
Here’s my winning poem, “Wednesday Night Bingo at the Legion,” recently published in 2015 Poetic Strokes & Word Flow, A Regional Anthology of Poetry from Southeastern Minnesota, Volume 9:
Wednesday Night Bingo at The Legion
Wooden balls rattle in the cage,
orbs of numbers and letters tumbling
in the comforting rhythm of a rural rite
that transcends time and generations.
All eyes focus on the officiant, The Bingo Caller,
a slight elderly man with wisps of fly-away hair.
He grasps the selected ball between forefinger and thumb,
pulls mic to mouth and purses his chapped lips.
Silence presides in that sacred moment
when daubers poise above cards,
when hearts beat fast with anticipation,
when nothing seems as blessed as the hope of a win.
“O-62,” he pronounces with faithful clarity of conviction
to the congregants seated on worn folding chairs,
ice clinking against glass in the dim light of The Legion
where service to country rates reverent respect.
From the back corner her voice erupts. “Bingo!”
A collective sigh heaves disappointment
as The Bingo Caller pauses, confirms, then declares
The Blessed Benediction: “We have a winner!”
YOU, TOO, CAN BE A WINNER. Check back on Wednesday for a give-away.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Poem reprinted with permission from SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating), Rochester, MN.