Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Cribbage, 1971

Posted on by in Poetry

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

“Nine in a crib, oh boy,”
Grammy says, gazing at her hand.
“You wouldn’t know a crib from a rattlesnake,” Granddad quips.
“Now sir, I’ve raised three children.
I should know what a crib is.”

In the summer morning heat,
they sit at their kitchen table,
deal, shuffle, count, peg.
My ten-year-old brain doesn’t understand the game,
but, mesmerized, I watch, fascinated,
as they play, banter, play some more.

Years have passed
since those Colorado summer mornings.
Grammy and Granddad are both gone.
They smile down on my family and me
from their cribbage table in the sky.

~ ~ ~

In the summer of 1971, I was visiting my maternal grandparents in Denver, Colorado. Years later, I wrote the above poem, inspired by my memories of watching them play cribbage, which they did, without fail, every morning after breakfast. They never invited me to play, probably because I was too young to understand the game, and I didn’t have enough eyesight to read the cards. But I didn’t feel bad. I always found their conversation during the game so entertaining.

About the Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of two novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. She is currently working on another novel. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet, The Writer’s Grapevine, and other publications. She lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. Visit her website

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4 thoughts on “Cribbage, 1971”

  1. Thank you, Ernest, for publishing this poem.

  2. Yes, very nice, Abbie. My grandfather taught me the game at age eight. We played every Friday night without fail throughout my high school years at their house. My grandfather and mother were partners against my grandmother and me always. I miss all of them. Those were wonderful times. Cribbage is a fun way to learn math skills.

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