“Try again,” say the games in amusement places by the sea, playing
on the unpredictable and sometimes predictable losing;
more losing occurs than winning.
Play again on those machines with the claws which rarely give you the toys they grab.
Tempting little teddy bears press against those glass screens,
setting the children screeching for that guaranteed comfort of the
soft toys, of which they automatically start to crave.
From 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence machines; shoving off of what
is a small amount, money rarely sweeps off the sides of winnings;
only to stay and be circularly gambled again.
Bright lights, buttons and chances of good or bad luck brings out even the most non-gamblers’ competitive trait.
Entertainment was in the air but disappointment draws you away, clouding over,
over the dulling atmosphere of trying,
tried again but you did not win a thing.
Finished with nothing, an unsatisfying trip it seems but obtaining
adrenaline of fun while spontaneously watching those machines;
after you’d put the money in, is mainly what you’d paid for.
Leaving with the fun of it even if there’s no money added to your
pockets—with a different mood; left behind the one of that you’d
had; before you’d decided to step in.
© 2009 Jessica Hendy
Jessica has been writing short stories, prose and poetry since she was 9 years old, including the book A Verse On Life.