Superstitious Villanelle

One for sorrow, two for joy

Taunts the lone magpie

That bird in the hand, shy and coy.

When we shy away from ladders

Cover mirrors, dodge bird droppings, chanting,

“One for sorrow, two for joy.”

While stars can be wished upon

And white feathers heaven sent, or from

That bird in the hand, shy and coy.

And salt is thrown, left, not right

Demons scrabble to count the grains:

One for sorrow, two for joy.

And owls spell doom, gloomy omens

Flying into storm wrecked windows,

No bird in the hand, shy and coy.

So step on cracks, pick up pins and tacks

Umbrellas explode indoors, but shoes: off the table;

One for sorrow, two for joy

This bird in the hand: shy and coy.

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