Paying Attention

by David Olsen

Montmartre, Paris

Concentrate. Money’s at stake.
A man shuffles three counters,
one marked on the underside.
Shell game. Pull out your wallet.
Put up €10. You win. Easy money.
Smirk at one or two nearby idlers.
Double or nothing? Sure. Why not?
Bet your tenner plus his.
Now, pay even closer attention.
Watch those hands. Watch them.
What? You lose. A fluke.
Bored onlookers melt away.
You can beat this chump.
Reach for your wallet. Gone.