One magpie brings you sorrow; turn away
the omen with a greeting. 'You can say
hello to him and those you cannot see,
friends and relations.' That's what she taught me
how to avoid the sorrow and the joy
outwit the birds and never be the toy
of all the fates they bring. Yet sorrows came
however long delayed, hurt her the same
for waiting. If she trod a pavement crack
She blamed herself for pain. Close, at her back
she felt some Fury's breath and its stern gaze.
We want escape - and that desire betrays -
from what cannot be helped. These rules console
a bit, though mad, where we have no control.