One for Sorrow

by Lauren Aspery

We blame our bad days
on opening umbrellas indoors,
magpies and broken mirrors,
walking past black cats
on pavement cracks
under ladders,
killing spiders,
spilling salt on the table
next to new shoes in a size 13.
Cold calls from numbers ending in
666 –

throwing pennies,
picking clovers,
blowing candles out,
wishing for something better
than this.

Would you dare
to cross me on the stairs
now the wick has burnt out,
the clovers are dead
and the well is long dried up?