Winter 2024 • Vol. XLVI No. 1 PoetryDecember 6, 2023 |

Texas Hold’em

The Kenyon Review · "Texas Hold’Em" by Allison Albino Poker night is every Thursday after dinner, after the baby is put to bed. The three of us sit together, deal out the Texas Hold’em for its turns and rivers. My father was quite the shark in his youth, and once, during an exciting hand, won his opponent’s medical school tuition — that cocky student dared to tap my father (who had the better hand). A victory he relishes.  He’s happier when I beat him because it proves he taught me well. I’m good at reading straights now, and I’ve learned to bet ruthlessly against my husband and father.  When one of us is low on chips, we all add to that person’s pile without saying anything, so we can keep playing. Even though someone wins and someone loses, someone bets big or nothing at all, we always seem to have enough to keep going.  … … This is what family is — we ante up for each other.  I buy my father Mace, clip

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Photo of Allison Albino

Allison Albino is a Filipina American poet and French teacher who lives and writes in Harlem. Her work has appeared in Narrative, The Rumpus, Poetry Northwest, Indiana Review, The Common, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, The Kenyon Review, and Tin House. She teaches at the Dalton School, in New York City.

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By Allison Albino

The Kenyon Review · "Texas Hold’Em" by Allison Albino Poker night is every Thursday after dinner, after the baby is put to bed. The three of us sit together, deal […]

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