His name was Scoggin and, since he’d died
Five hundred years and more ago, we’d meet
For coffee near Union Square. The baristas
All smiled at him, waving off his attempts
To pay them in badly-minted old coins.
Last night he was whittling a chain of links
Out of an ivory scrap he’d found somewhere.
“For a child,” he said when I sat next to him,
“She’ll dream of it some night and wake up
Holding it in her hand – the left, I expect.
She’ll go places the Fates intend her not to.”
I objected; he expected it of me. “But I’ve read
That the Gods themselves cannot defy the Fates.”
“So they cannot, being gods. Dead jesters, though,
Are not wholly subject to the Fates.
Makes them crazy; especially her with the shears.”