How Many Crows Were There the Day You Were Born?
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
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.