Our father taught us his favorite card game
from his Nazi labor camp. Durak (You Fool!)—
the final game played on poker night.
He dealt five cards to himself, to my brother
and me. He said the game played best with
six or more guys to stretch out the drama.
Highest card won the round. No trumps.
You followed suit. Low cards were golden.
Play out all your cards as soon as possible;
you won the game when you lost all your cards.
If you won the round, you added it to the stash
fanned in your hand. Last man holding a spray
of cards was the loser. They poured water
into his shoes in the camp. Sometimes they
had to chase him through the barrack, around
the triple-decker bunks, or even outside,
to strip the shoes off his feet. Next day
the loser worked wearing wet shoes, even in
freezing weather. My brother and I exchanged
looks as our father laughed and laughed.