Casey Killingsworth

Casey Killingsworth

Bad luck comes in threes

I wrote something for my daughter, you know,
the one who’s not here, because
that’s what you’re supposed to do. I guess.

Anyway about that same time I got held up
in the back of a store late one night, you know, the 
bad-luck-comes-in-threes thing, and it was funny 

that after it was all over the other store workers 
were more scared than I was, looking over 
their shoulders worrying about

whatever they couldn’t see. The thing is
those workers never even saw the bad guys, 
so maybe what scares us the most is 

the unknown, even more than knife blades coming
for our skin, even more than trying to find out
where a daughter, who you had so looked forward to, 

where did she go. To ease my pain someone 
told me that the moment coming up, the one 
that can still go either way, is the moment that counts. 

What I’m trying to say here is my third piece 
of bad luck was figuring out that waiting for 
the next moment is supposed to be a good thing, 

not whatever is really coming next,
but the uncertainty of it, you know, 
because maybe it could have been some good luck.

CASEY KILLINGSWORTH has work in The American Journal of Poetry, Two Thirds North, and other journals. His book of poems, A Handbook for Water, was published by Cranberry Press in 1995. Casey has a Master’s degree from Reed College.