Published on Academy of American Poets (

Tarot Readings Daily

They’re reading Tarot cards right now,
in the little pink house with the sign in the yard.
Shadows spider across still-green lawn
whose fate, so far, defies the frosts.

Someone asks the right question,
draws the right card.
Many cups in the immediate future;
radiance pouring down.

They know the future,
the creatures in the yard:
night, thirst, frost.
Only the sapiens in the house believe

fire, water, air, and earth
would bother to reveal
when to fear and love.
The one who’s paying

draws another card.
Outside, in the yard,
a squirrel noses seed that fell
like radiance, from above.



Copyright © 2017 by Joy Ladin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem grew out of years of driving past a sign that said ‘Tarot Readings Daily.’ Snow or heat, New England gloom (Dickinson and Frost weather) or Technicolor-blue skies, the sign testified to the human hunger to know the future. One day in late autumn, I noticed a squirrel pausing beneath the sign and realized she knew all she needed to know.”
—Joy Ladin


Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is the author of Impersonation (Sheep Meadow Press, 2015).

Date Published: 2017-05-26

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