For A Happy Life: Poem by Marie Bartels Willey

Marie Bartels Willey


Listen to old wives for the simple reason that they
Grew old.
Carry an acorn.
Never lay a hat on your bed.
If you see an ambulance, pinch your nose and hold your breath
until you see a black or brown dog.
With that in mind, avoid ambulances.
Face your bed east or west and always get out of bed on the same side
you got in.
Never prop a broom against a bed.
If a coin lies before you on the ground, pick it up
but only if it’s heads up.
Leave your house through the same door you entered.
Make sure the first butterfly of the year you see is white.
Allow crickets into your home.
Put up pictures of elephants but only where they face a door.
Never sail a ship on Friday.
Never say the word “pig” while fishing.
Allow frogs into your home.
Don’t open umbrellas in the house and certainly never
drop them.
Finish all knitting projects.
Don’t walk under ladders while you’re knitting.
Never- either on purpose or by accident -kill a ladybug.
Never break mirrors.
If you do break a mirror bury all the pieces.
Don’t look at owls in the daylight.
If you forget something after leaving your house and
have to go back inside to get it, make sure you sit down before
leaving again.
Wish on shooting stars.
Wish while throwing a coin into a fountain.
Wish while pulling apart the dried breastbone of poultry;
get the biggest half.
Never tell anyone your wish
especially not Old Wives who will remind you that
Wishes Told Won’t Come True.
Listen to your heart;
let it take you
where Old Wives fear to tread.