I spilled the bag
of black eye peas
I always cook
on New Year’s day.
A bad piece of luck
it seemed,
they scattered across
the terra cotta tiles,
they clustered against
the step into the living
Days later I was still
finding them as I cleaned
protective coloration blending
them with our soiled rug.

I wish that hadn’t happened,
I was already spooked
about the year,
my daughter in a crisis
my sister surrendered to
her death,
and us roaming the streets
of the local celebration
where each band we approached
decided to break.