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“Your Luck Is About To Change”

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(A fortune cookie)

Ominous inscrutable Chinese news
to get just before Christmas,
considering my reasonable health,
marriage spicy as moo-goo-gai-pan,
career running like a not-too-old Chevrolet.
Not bad, considering what can go wrong:
the bony finger of Uncle Sam
might point out my husband,
my own national guard,
and set him in Afghanistan;
my boss could take a personal interest;
the pain in my left knee could spread to my right.
Still, as the old year tips into the new,
I insist on the infant hope, gooing and kicking
his legs in the air. I won't give in
to the dark, the sub-zero weather, the fog,
or even the neighbors' Nativity.
Their four-year-old has arranged
his whole legion of dinosaurs
so they, too, worship the child,
joining the cow and sheep. Or else,
ultimate mortals, they've come to eat
ox and camel, Mary and Joseph,
then savor the newborn babe.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Poetry magazine

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“Your Luck Is About To Change”

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  • After receiving her undergraduate degree in Spanish and French from Brigham Young University, poet, playwright, and editor Susan Elizabeth Howe turned her focus to creative writing, earning an MA from the University of Utah and a PhD from the University of Denver.
    Influenced by Elizabeth Bishop, Howe’s poems tend to find their source in observation rather than personal experience, and often explore women’s lives and the natural world through the lens of her Mormon faith. In a 2009 interview with Mormon Artist, Howe noted, “Imagination, as I have experienced it, can be part of and lead to spiritual growth, and imagination is the natural province of the poet.”
    Howe is the author of the poetry collections Salt (2013) and Stone Spirits (1997), which won the Charles Redd Center Publication Prize and the Association for Mormon Letters Award in Poetry. Her poetry has been anthologized in Great and Peculiar Beauty: A Utah Reader (1995)...

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