Suppose a homeless man found
what survived of a tattered old jacket,
abandoned, like himself, to the elements
….and, in that tattered garment,
crumpled inside a pocket, a winning
lottery ticket could transform his life.
But, first he must find it, and then,
having found it, not toss it aside to be
blown wherever discarded debris blows.
Let us further suppose
the deadline to claim its prize
came at midnight of that very day.
Late that night, in winter’s turn,
he dreamed a new-day dream
that he could live his life over again,
knowing as much in his youth as
he knew now, so that all the choices
and hidden chances of wasted
turning points lay exhumed ahead.
But the thought made him cringe; regret
was a fire that gave pain without heat.
He awoke in cold sweat to the taste
of snow on the cracks of his lips
and pulled tight around his neck
the collar of yesterday’s fortune.
What luck to have found
a buffer against fate.