National Poetry Writing Month 2018, Day 24

The prompt for Day 24 is to write an elegy. This is always tricky for me, at least when it comes to prompts. These last five years or so, I have used poetry to mourn all sorts of things in my life—but this almost always came about as a natural response to an event or a memory. So, I opted for optimism with this poem.

Elegy for a bad-luck streak

Well, old friend,
it’s true you’re not out of the picture yet—
but it is looking like your days are numbered.

It used to be that I could count on you like a bad habit
come ’round to save me from myself,
snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

It was your little way of reminding me
that I could not count on anything else;
only you would ever be faithful.

And so help me, I believed it.
I even had the cycle all worked out
so that I might know when to expect you next.

You may not always have shown up on schedule—
I know, you’ve never been a stickler for time—
but your appearance was seldom a surprise.

But something is changing now.
I can’t say exactly how—I just have a feeling.
Something is different.

Yes, there is still some Big Stuff up ahead,
so I’m sure you’ll be checking in with me then.
But don’t expect to stay—I expect to have other plans.

(23 April 2018—posted April 24th)

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