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This poem is taken from PN Review 123, Volume 25 Number 1, September - October 1998.

Three Poems Steven Blyth

Superstitions

Out for the night, we leave the hall light on -
Safer to suggest someone's in. Today, the bulb's gone.

The up-lighter shade cups some dead spiders.
I swirl out their webs like candy-floss with my screwdriver.

It's as if they were spun to blot out the bulb's light,
Them wanting us back in the days of oil lamps, candles, flint,

Days when, superstitions stronger, they had more influence:
It meant money if one fell on your face,

Good luck if one clung to your clothing,
One worn live in a bag cured most things.

Legs folded in, each looks like an apple pip,
As if it is their dying hope

That I'll count them, chanting tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor...
Instead, I drop them onto a page from the local paper,

Note its stories of poormen, beggermen, thieves.
...


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