jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Five

How Many Crows Were There the Day You Were Born?

One’s bad,
Two’s luck,
Three’s health,
Four’s wealth,
Five’s sickness
Six is death.

- old wives’ tale

Three days before the eclipse
I hear one pregnant woman whisper
to another, Do not look at the eclipse.
It will give your baby a squished nose
.
Suppose that is the trouble
with all of us fouled
humans. Inflicted with superstition,
we roll around in the muck
of our parents’ agitation,
scud silently through life
stained with the caul of careless heritage.
It is a family tree gnarled
with misfortune, twisted roots
tripping us
sure as Eve’s apple underfoot.

Knitting needles thrust through pink
ball of yarn foretold foremother’s margin of error.
Her mother never carried an acorn,
squirreled in a pocket to bring good luck.
As the guns of the Revolution roared,
another mother killed a bee,
bad luck for bee and baby.
And so on
and so on
and we all know about the apple.

During the eclipse
the sun, Earth and moon lined up,
leaving moon, poor moon, in the dark.
Pray that you were born
on the night side of the planet.
Close your eyes,
(it is safe to view with the naked eye)
and pray your squished little face off.

8 Comments:

Blogger Mariacristina said...

jill, a whimsical, imaginative poem that comes round to tell a cautionary tale: to not listen to the old wive's tales.

The crow lore at the beginning reminds me of the language of hawks in the sky we sometimes cite in Georgia.

5:37 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

very clever little collection.. i work with a bunch of girls from mexico.. and not only is their culture overrun with old wives tales... but they still believe them!!!! wow...

6:25 PM  
Blogger Michelle Johnson said...

What a great way to incorporate the five words into a poem. I've always enjoyed hearing the old wives tales from my grandmother and great aunt. Thanks for sharing such a creative poem. Have a nice weekend.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I like the easy, loping pace of this poem! And your ending is priceless

11:41 AM  
Blogger UL said...

in my native land, they say not to eat/drink anything during an eclipse...another tale to add to your collection..nice one here.

2:03 PM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

I love this - it smacks of warm and friendly satire with a dose of warning and humor. Love it!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Yes highly imaginative and a great close.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

"we roll around ... careless heritage." That was, for me, the strongest part of this poem. The ending is dynamite. Great poem, great blog. You have the muse :)

2:52 PM  

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