Fortune Told by Bruce Michael Foley



No sweet dreams tonight
for having kept the moon awake.

Only misfortune and heartache heard for miles
such sad talk among those lonely pines.

A green-eyed black cat
claws shredding the breast of a dead crow,
bits of feather resting
on the whiskers of that hungry feral, just about sums
up my mood here, waiting on a falling star
promised by the gypsy fortune teller, said
to be arriving by midnight.

The falling star, that is.

Two fingers of rum and a silver dollar
buys you a weeks worth of dreams.
Word was, she read a palm well, so
with that in mind and a bottle in hand
I aimed to staying put, waiting
on a falling star every goddamned night.

Her readings they said were nearly
always precise, a swamp raised Cajun
she was, but, given the goings on
out deep in dark country woods, things
could get strange, making prophecies a challenge.

No matter how good the rum or fortune teller.

Just about the time I had
pulled a last swig, bottle
stretched to drink all night,
not yet did I catch sight of my falling star
about the stroke of midnight, but I did see
a barrel chested barn owl, a real big bird
he was, circling the cabin belonging to the trapper,

Holy shit and sure enough, when I looked
twice, my pocket watch had stopped!
Straight up on twelve.

“Well, I’ll be damned!” I thought.
“Could she be right?”

Then, as if to answer, I heard screams
silenced by a shotgun blast lighting up the night.

The barn owl flew South, fast, in hazy white moonlight.

That’s when I saw him, crazy Mossy McSharry
walking my way wild-eyed with a lantern shining,
free hand gripping a still hot smoking
shotgun, and by his side a howling Irish wolfhound.

Well, I tell you
Christ be crucified twice before I die
if I did not behold a falling star above him!
Just as the gypsy spoke. Dead on midnight.

McSharry was coming!

And coming right fast for me now,
with murder in his eyes.

indexI was born across the bridge from Boston, Massachusetts, in Cambridge, as July 4th fireworks exploded over the Charles River, just a stone’s throw from Harvard University. At age two, my family moved to Somerville, Ma.,where I was raised in a rough blue-collar environment, playing many sports. In 1998 I relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, I work among special needs children and teach martial arts. Poetry began in high school, but took off in a more dedicated way in later years, along with resuming music studies, guitar. My poems are published in various anthologies; including Impressions, Prism, and the Mighty Voices Of Thunder Series, sponsored by the international poetry website, “Allpoetry.” I was a featured poet in Lyrical Somerville February 2015, a Boston based publication, as well as being an “Editor’s Front Page Pick,” for the month of March 2016 on Allpoetry. A defining moment that contributed significantly to further interest in writing was a First Place Award from the International Poetry Fellowship, for my poem, “Among Fields of Cotton.” Presently, I am happy to have the opportunity to explore various forms of poetry with Mr. Bruce Isaacson, Poet Laureate of Clark County Nevada.

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