I won't say superstition rules my life. I will say that when I write, I go with the first words, not because they're the best words, but because they came from a higher power, they were a gift, so it's bad karma to get rid of them. On the other hand, if something doesn't sound right, I'm no stranger to delete. I will say I walk around ladders. On the other hand, I owned a black cat and he crossed my path daily.
My kind of superstition is more based on instinct. Fueled by my old childhood intuition that, Yes
, the stuffed animals do talk when I leave the room
More proof. Today I bought koi for my tank, and I was this close to buying the black and white one that looked like he was ready to be iced, just because he was the first one I looked at. It is only because I have lived with my husband, the experienced fish keeper, that I passed my first fish up for the calico koi. Still, as I write, I hope the black and white koi will forgive me for not giving him a home. Am I superstitious? I don't know. At least my new fish are still swimming. Here's a poem on the matter of grocery shopping and superstition.Superstition
She takes only the Empire apples her long fingers land on first,
bruises, pock marks, indentations be damned.
The broccoli she brushes first is the bunch
that gets bagged and brought home.
The spiders’ web wound round more than half
the last weeping red pint of strawberries?
The first one she laid eyes on,
the plastic container she couldn’t leave hanging
for fear its feelings would be hurt.
She feels like a grade school bully
blushes, even, as she stands, hand hovering
over the bin of Brussels sprouts.
Choosing the freshest, the biggest, the best is not how she shops.
She buys her groceries with her old pal superstition
riding shotgun in the wobbly wheel cart,
the cart she absentmindedly pulled from the silver train
outside the store, the cart she should have put back
were it not for the nagging feeling that something bad
might happen if she took a different one, a better one,
the one not intended for her in the grand scheme of things.
In the grand scheme of things if you follow your instincts
do what comes naturally, do what comes first
it will all come out all right, all will be right with the world.
The apple pie will be mealy.
The broccoli will taste of mold.
A mountain of whipped cream will avalanche
sending the furry strawberries
crawling down your throat,
chasing the rogue band of deflated Brussels sprouts.
As she leaves the grocery store,
the left wheel of her lame cart will freeze up
in front of an oncoming car.
Of course this isn’t how it ends.
She shopped for the grand scheme.
She will arrive home safely,
cart her ripping paper sacks up the steps,
make dinner for her hungry family.
Everyone will go to bed happy,
bellies wrapped snuggly in rabbit’s foot blankets.
Labels: grocery shopping, poetry, superstition