Royal Duty

FrenchCards

(internet photo)
Queen of hearts peeks from behind knave of clubs
into a sea of grey and white heads bobbing
throughout the room.
Eyes are downcast in devotion to the royal court
fanned out before the lords and ladies,
and peasants, too.
Quiet devotion is interrupted by muted coughs or
the occasional chair scraping the floor.
The snap of cards
hitting the table salute allegiance to powerful
houses of kings. Any deviation from
ruling principles
results in immediate penalty. Festivities continue
until the last of the regal families
have exited behind
closed doors. A lucky few go away smiling as they
carry grand gifts bestowed upon them.
The rest return
home dreaming that next time a grandiose touch
of sovereignty will be in the cards
for them.