Jeannine Hall Gailey

You write your fortune on a five dollar bill and hand it to the attendant.
The five dollar bill passes through many hands. They all inherit your fortune.

I believed in magic for long enough that magic became part mindset. I could speak with animals at the zoo, I could protect people I loved from death. I conveyed blessings to baby rabbits.

Live long enough and you injure yourself, become unsteady, unstable.
Take time to enjoy the flight, the run through the new grass, that first strawberry. Because someday, it all will.

Once upon a time a princess. A dragon. Once upon a time you were born, you were loved and blessed, then stolen by a witch. Once you slew the dragon and were sad. You wore armor and carried a shining sword. There was a happy ending, or an unhappy one, depending on the version you discovered.

What can I tell you? My advice has never been practical. Catch the water in your arms. Hug an armadillo. Tell each snowflake how you love it as it falls. Your dreams are fish that flash through the water. Be slippery. Be lucky.

Here’s your fortune, listen: it’s all too fast.

jeanninegaileyJeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She has a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in English from the University of Cincinnati and her MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. She is the author of five books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter and recent winner of the Moon City Press Book Award, Field Guide to the End of the World, upcoming in November 2016. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her web site is