I stopped believing in harbingers,
the same way I try not to flinch
when passing on the stairs,
or hide the sidestep in my walk
for cracks on the pavement.
Superstition crawled inside my head
before I was old enough to name it.
Caught up between pie crusts
my great-grandmother baked,
hidden in the coils
of her apple peels.
Good Day Mr Magpie,
are you well? How’s the family?
We buried glass somewhere,
when it broke like ice
and my mother feared
the things she’d been taught
might just come true.
Seven years bad luck
unless it’s buried.
Deeper now, deeper,
hide the evidence and the thought.
Sometimes it’s simpler not to
see the shadows casts as signs.
Yet I still count in threes,
for these things always come in threes.
tempest in a teapot,
do not stir and do not pour
these quarrelsome ideas.
The worst of it always comes unseen.