Lucky Charms

after Amanda Gorman and for Ardeth Wood, Sarah Everard, etc. etc. etc.

Lucky Charms

When day comes, we think

And now it is safe, so I will
put on my running shoes
breathe the fresh air
feel breeze prickle
the hair on my arms
let sweat trickle
down my neck.

Daylight is our domain:
the fortunate women
who do not work the night
or finish shifts in darkness
and we walk out
or jog, or cycle
just a bit less than
boldly, perhaps, with our hair
tucked away, perhaps
each of us with our lucky charm—
a key between two fingers
a slim silver pendant bear whistle
finger resting on a cell phone
smart button programmed
for 9-1-1.

When day comes, we rise
brush our white teeth
splash water on faces we don’t
fully love
step out to the sidewalk
and enter
the belly of the beast.

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