Each month they lunch on our wide-lapped porch—
my mother, her friends
and the tarot lady.
I watch from the screen door’s dark side.
Bright as planets, they ring the sun-yellow table,
wearing tie-dyed clothes, shiny bangles
and moonstone jewels,
their hair threaded with scarves.
One by one,
they split the deck,
draw cards, slap them down in rows.
They talk about the Knight of Cups, the Queen
of Wands, Celtic crosses
and African orishes.
They speak of birth and death.
Mostly they laugh.
Their laughter rises to the painted eaves,
rolls back. I can’t resist
eavesdropping. Even the oak tree
beyond the slatted railing
leans its green wings closer. I want
the women to notice me, to call to me.
I want my mother
to pull me onto her gypsy lap.