They came into my tent,

a young boy and girl,

holding hands and giggling;

she thrust forth a sweaty palm

and demanded

Tell my fortune, fortune teller!”

I calmly looked them both up an down

and true to my profession, said

First you must cross my palm with silver”

So the boy dug into his jeans pocket

and produced four quarters’

two dollar” I said, and the girl found

four more quarters In her handbag
a little purse with a long strap slung over her shoulder,

She sat down opposite me at my table and again

Held out her hand;

a cold chill went through me as

I gazed at her palm

and I looked up at the boy who  grinned uneasily

As if he knew…that I knew…what he was thinking.

“I see–” I began and knew I could not tell her the truth

You and this  young man will get married” I began again

And there will be babies…” I could not go on.

Take your money back” I said thrusting the eight quarters

into her hand. “I cannot tell you more

I heard the boy exclaim as they left,

I told you…they’re all fake

I shuddered as they disappeared into the crowd.

I could not tell the girl what this young man

would someday do to her…and her babies.

I closed up my tent for the day and made a

pot of herbal tea to dispel any negative spirits.


Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted May 26, 2009

Updated July 29, 2018


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