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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

Luck Charms

October 3, 2006 at 6:44 AM

I can't sleep, and it would be obscene to practice in apartments at this hour...so I was reading through old writings and found this. Not one of the more polished, but it is sentimental. I remember writing it around the time that I had begun playing in a new Symphony. Emily's post reminded me of symphony expectations prior to walking on stage, and this reminds me of the nerves and comforts before walking on stage. How nerves and comforts are sometimes not related..

Luck Charms

When your good luck charm
came from your three year old cousin’s aquarium
(the stone smooth in a soft emerald green,
see-through
swirls touching and winding marshmallow
cloud-whites-
like a little earth in space without water)
you have to wonder if it will survive.
If that is any luck you want.
Still, it is beautiful
and kept you safe.

The one before that was from an old Monopoly game
Silver Dog,
ear severed by an angry play.
Small and strong and five or six sharps
in my hand.
I’d poke my finger on it nervously sometimes,
and not once did I explode into a million pieces-
so it must have worked at least a little bit.

Before the dog, it was a piece of ivory bone on a leather string
I found lying in the grass one day at school.
I wore it around my neck for years.
My friends remember it well, speak of its importance.
But really, it was just a soft thing to wear, to never take off.
I didn’t have much faith in such superstitions.

Now it is a foundation which whispers fate
one way or that way.
I have found inside
arms tight or an expression always there
like a ring around my finger.

Still, when I dumped out my bag yesterday,
I found a stone given by a child of beauty, a
a tiny gamepiece worn smooth from sweaty hands,
and a leather string.

Sensing the pressure of the stage pulling down esophagus,
tonsil, kneecaps…
I wrapped the worn leather around halting breath,
packed the game in my proArt,
held the timeless aquarium in sweaty palm.

Just in case.

-Jennifer Warren

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