The day I became superstitious


A classic, clichéd family holiday:
British seaside, Butlin’s chalets,
fairground rides, candy floss, and
Donkey Derbies.

Sun shines – not on me:
I stand in adults’ shadows.
Dad urges me to pick
a number for the bet.

There’s little time before the race.
Too small to view and appraise,
I’m left to discriminate one number
from all the other numbers,
with 50p at stake!

Time against me,
I feel the weight of the burden,
so I forgo sagacity,
and suddenly jettison a “4”,
I don’t know why.

I catch glimpses of rider and donkey framed
by spectators’ legs and thighs.
The happening is a mystery, until Dad
presents me with my winnings.

All then becomes clear:
of course I knew,
it had to be 4,
4’s a good number,
and from then on
it was mine.

I’m linking into dverse numerology. I’m still busy traveling here and there, but I’m trying to seize the motivation whenever it comes along, and I hope to catch up with reading all my fellow poets’ works soon as…


28 thoughts on “The day I became superstitious

  1. ha. very cool…beginners luck…or a number of destiny….4 is a good number based on what i was reading, donkey races…i have never been or seen, outside the race scene in swiss family robinson…that has to be pretty cool…what an intriguing memory…

    • I think also got to ride a donkey after the race was run…but it’s all a bit vague to me now, but the 4 incident has more clarity in recall for some reason.

  2. Gorgeous. And your reading a delight: I could see you standing there enjoying your first grown-up win. Makes a child feel good for ever after. Mine was a bag of toffees at the fair shooting at something. I was 12 and have never won anything since 🙂
    Are you enjoying the british heatwave 🙂

    • Thanks, Aprille. The heat wave is great when I don’t have to do anything, but catching trains that turn out to be cancelled or delayed gets extra frustrating when in the heat.

  3. I loved your poem for selfish reasons. Well, not totally. Your poem is a beautiful telling of your story, but also a story I truly relate to. I am from the USA. Mummy served in London during WWII. She came home an Anglophile … so much of one she pretty much ruined the lives of her children. I have worked through all of that now and I am writing memoir about her and myself through Japanese poetic forms. Funny, I don’t watch American TV, just British.

    • It’s funny the way we can get attached to certain cultures we experience. I try my best to appreciate and take the best from all I encounter, and it’s interesting that the Japanese forms are appealing to you in your memoir writing.

  4. Really enjoyed this Rowan – I grew up near a race track and went quite often – we would pick based on jersey color or sheen of horse etc. So interesting to see how the mind works when one wins and when one loses too. Thanks. k.

    • I lived by the sea, so most of my racing experience was the betting machines with mechanical horse races…the donkey derby was a refreshing and more lively change.

  5. …all of us have our own lucky numbers in us…and yours was tested & mine’s not quite really…. but i just loved it & favorited it since the day i figured out it was the same day of earth day celebration plus if you totaled my full name including my middle name the total is 22…cool… hihi… loved this Rowan….have fun with the trip & always keep safe… smiles…

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