What is luck?

When I was little, my mother used to tell me it was lucky if bird poo landed on my head. Not so lucky for her as she had to clean it off!

As children we thought it lucky to find a four leaf clover. Rather ingenious of our parents to send us off hunting for four leaf clovers – must have kept us out of their hair for hours on end.

Earlier this morning I needed to park my car in a local car park but didn’t have any change for the pay and display machine.

And then I got lucky.

A complete stranger – not even knowing of my quandary – offered me her parking ticket which had at least two hours still to run. Gratefully, I accepted and found myself almost skipping along the road with pleasure at her kindness.

Later, with the ticket still having two and three quarter hours to run, I passed it on and made another person’s morning a little brighter. With luck, she will also pass it on.

In our small way we were each passing on a little bit of happiness – although I can see that if everyone did this the local authority might not be so pleased.

Friday 13th is meant to be unlucky – presumably because there were 13 at the last supper … but what is luck? What does it mean to be lucky?  For many of us we think of ourselves as lucky when we hear of the misfortunes of others. Whether its something catastrophic such as a tsunami or something closer to home.

Seeing someone less well off than ourselves can remind us of our own good fortune. I’ve heard that’s why so many of us give to charity or to someone begging on the street. “There but for the grace of God go I” … and all that.

This is what led me to write my next poem.

I will think myself lucky if someone reads this  – and luckier still if they tell me that they liked it!

Old Soldier


after a shared meal

of wine and cheese

and song

we rolled laughing

into the metro

where we saw a man

with no arms or legs


with his eyes


back in our room

we said we wouldn’t forget

And then thoughtfully


made love

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

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