Luck is the residue of chance and design—Branch Rickey

Longing for longevity, a life-long loser,
believes he never has any luck.

He dribbles, wobbles around
and often has to piss on the ground.

Attached to a breathing machine,
he smokes two packs a day,

trapped between two tectonic plates:
cancer of the bowels and emphysema.

Forgetful, lost as an amnesiac wanderer
on the way home from the OTB parlor,

he lives a life in Springsteenland,
full of riddles never meant to be solved.

One mucky day, seeing the detritus of his life,
a frisson of fear wafts over his face.

A gold horseshoe, a talisman around his neck is no help
in his world, where no facts are allowed to exist.

He ends up in a hospital room quiet as white,
with the medicinal smell of the ignominies of illness.

But he can still smile, as he remembers one lucky day,
at the age of nine, when the car he built, won a soap box derby.