My mother threw pinches of spilt salt
over her left shoulder, would toss water
that had boiled eggs onto the garden;
crossed knives were swiftly uncrossed on the table.
For good luck: her youngest brother’s signet ring,
its horseshoe worn smooth; the rabbit’s foot
that was her mother’s; a shamrock, four-leaved,
pressed inside her unused missal.
By small margins, sometimes, we find our way
or lose it. If charms that kiss the hem
of a frowning god, can help, let’s have them.
Secure all mirrors, slip on the horseshoe ring
then with a pinch of salt, plant seeds where
the egg-water fell. Tend what grows there.
1 February 2015