What Brings Bad Luck

Hat on the bed, A peacock feather Dragged indoors From the blue-eyed weather,   Reflection smashed, A baker’s dozen, Chain letter from An estranged cousin,   The bumbershoot Bloomed in the hall, The ladder’s lintel, The owl’s call,   The horseshoe’s frown, The salt knocked over & not tossed across The left shoulder,   A lone magpie, A pre-glimpsed bride, Friday next, The bed’s wrong side,   The sable cat Bisecting your way, A crack underfoot, The Scottish play,   A gleaming penny Not picked up, New shoes set On a tabletop,   Scissors left open From sheer habit: A month begun Without “rabbit, rabbit,”   The grave (whose?) trodden, The wish (hush!) spoken, A run of good luck Still unbroken.

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