“Bingo Caller” by Liz Robbins

Liz Robbins


We’re all electronic now.
Gone, the wire globe and
crank, the worn-out goddess
to turn it. Some call such
games gambling, and it is
addictive, hope. Players
with their numbers
in rows, as if order
were the only good and
goodness makes luck.
Some thumb a silver coin
or cross their fingers,
eyes closed, whispering.
They lose much more
than they win. But it’s
the randomness of chance
that keeps them returning—
how unknown fate may turn
and treat their numbers,
ones they’ve known since
they were children.
That thrill, so close to
fear, like news of a death.
And the ending, familiar—
rarely what they’d hoped for
or pictured, but with the grim
satisfaction of closure.

from Rattle #63, Spring 2019
Tribute to Persona Poems


Liz Robbins: “The greatness of persona poems lies in their double nature: the poet uses an alternate voice to—through metaphor—communicate her own discovered truths. The poet is speaking and not-speaking, like a ventriloquist. The satisfactions are plenty—the research to accumulate details about the real or imagined persona, the striving to weave an unknown world to a known. In these poems, I looked for interesting and unusual occupations that seemed to hold possibilities for metaphor.” (web)

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