They say throughout the Pandemic,
There was a man who came and sat
A little distance off a mart
With packs and packs of playing cards.

He’d lay the packs in Solitaire,
And raise his foggy glasses up
To rest them on his frowning brow
To concentrate on moving cards.

He put the sevens over eights,
He put the aces over twos,
And when he had a column flush,
He’d set that suit of cards aside.

And when he solved the Solitaire,
He’d stand and stretch and breathe a bit,
Before he sat again to lay
Another mat of Solitaire.

The customers who parked their bikes
Would stay awhile to watch him there.
They clapped and cheered his speed of play.
They left him money for his day.

Police would kindly talk to him
Upon the cut-off curfew hour.
He’d always bow and leave in peace
Without a single nasty word.

He never said a single word.
He only smiled with wrinkled eyes.
He’d neither nod nor shake his head.
Nor stretch an empty hand at you.

They say he laid his Solitaire
Upon the bed he was assigned.
They say the others watched him play
Amidst their coughs and heavy breaths.

They say he passed with cards in hand.
A king of clubs, a jack of hearts.
They were the only next-of-kin
Who came to claim his custody.

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