Fortune Cookie

for thirty three years
she had folded cookies,
slipping slivers of fortune
into their sweet pockets,
now she sighed,
folded her apron for the last time,
one of those cookies had her phone number,
a parting gift,
a shop floor prank,
maybe even destiny had
a brittle sense of humour;

months later,
she met her,
the lady who called,
an elder in a battered cape,
beads and pigeon feathers in her hair,
two headed snakes in twisted silver
wound around her fingers,
strange chants wafting through
clouds of burning jasmine sticks;

you are a lover of words, she said,
her eyes closed against the world,
they open the spaces between their letters
and show you the peacock winged light,
in a spindrift of micro butterfly wings
they sing to you of secrets they hide,
for seven lifetimes
they have leapt off your fingers,
on to parchment and dried palm leaves,
open your notebook, pick up your quill,
providence waits on that empty sheet;

she walked slowly along the river,
its sun painted ripples mocking her streaming eyes,
the broken walls of her old school house
rising grimy and unpainted around her head,
maybe if the bombs hadn’t fallen that night,
maybe if her father had left that night,
maybe if she had learnt how to read,
the cookies would have
opened their secrets to her,
it is what it is, she sighed.
a strip of paper. a moment. a life.
kismet.

For Dverse Poets where my fortune cookie says “You are a lover of words”
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45 thoughts on “Fortune Cookie

  1. I love the story Thot, from what could have been, to the sadness of broken walls, to the reality of her life ~ My favorite part is the Lover of words stanza, that is a gift indeed ~

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  2. Wow to wowzer, Thot, this poem is simply astonishingly good, bordering on incredible. It is my favorite for this prompt; rife with bold wordsmithing, mysterious plot possibilities, unsaid hidden plot lines, a whole lifetime review, somehow wrapped up in a fortune cookie, i-ching psychic session, something we’ve all experienced but hardly ever trusted. Questions posed, solutions suggested–you took a cute line of levity & transformed it into a brief novella probability. I’ve read it thrice, & it gets deeper with each going over. Like Grace, I love the “lover of words” stanza, & the lines /they open the spaces between the letters/and show you the peacock winged light/in a spindrift of micro butterfly wings/. Big smiles.

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  3. you are a lover of words, she said,
    her eyes closed against the world,
    they open the spaces between their letters
    and show you the peacock winged light,
    in a spindrift of micro butterfly wings
    they sing to you of secrets they hide,
    for seven lifetimes

    Sigh.. so beautifully penned! 🙂

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  4. I have three favorite blogs I’m blessed to regularly enjoy. Christy’s “Verse Herder” keeps me connected with Nature and constantly provokes my mind with intriguing questions. Peter Wells’ “Counting Ducts,” provides eloquently profound insights into human character that always leaves me smiling.

    Your poems and prose take me to vivid imaginary worlds that have slipped unseen beyond my mind until your words reveal them to my astonishment. This story in particular leaves me breathless.

    Such a wonderful world to live in, surrounded by so much amazing writing.

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  5. Amazing how you interweave one life with others and leave us with a clear view of the cookie maker’s thoughts and feelings….and the “what ifs.” Masterfully told…I’m in awe of your wonderful talent.

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