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Missed Fortune

Text of Poem

Late for our dates,
the stubbornness of chores
(and girls don’t like to wait),
my brother and I barreled
out of the yard toward town.
A shabby overloaded car
sagged on the road’s shoulder,
two women struggled to change
a tire. We braked, backed up,
jumped out. I maneuvered
the jack, Bob twirled off
the nuts, we mounted the spare.
Suddenly aware of the women—
heavy gold earrings, fancy scarves,
full skirts, crazy-colored blouses,
black hair, swarthy skins,
our eyes popped, gypsies!
The older woman opened her purse,
Bob gently closed it.

In a soft voice the younger woman
said, hold out your palms
and I will read your fortunes.
But we were late, I tell you,
and we tore off down the road
to keep still hidden in our hands
the dark roads she might see ahead.
And anyway it was enough for us
just to know the girls would
still be waiting.

First Line
Late for our dates,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Boston Monthly 111.11 (March 1982) 14.
Complete Poems
Word Count
Poetic Form
Twitter Quote
The older woman opened her purse, / Bob gently closed it.