Do Not Fear the 13th

emperor pengins 2

Ian Duffy

Huddled like emperor penguins
at the bus stop
scarves muzzle faces,
yearning to breathe free
on Friday the 13th

A high, bright sun belies the raw
think of where you’d rather be–
a beach, an atoll, a mountain peak
on Friday the 13th

Snow twinkles like frosted cotton candy
but there’s no carnival
on the New Jersey Turnpike
on Friday the 13th

Our house is numbered 115
but should be 113–
fear of the 13th
my dearest pet was a black cat
fear of the black cat and number 13

No reason to fear
or black cats
or number 13
Instead, let us fear February–
the coldest, meanest month
that makes your hands crack and bleed
that makes commuting hell on earth
that makes more sense to me.


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