Lucky Sevens


“Seven, seven, seven”
her whisper, soft and sweet.
My head on her shoulder,
me snoring in my seat.

City College Freshman,
Chemistry Intro,
not my idea of fun.

Her warm breathy sevens
an inch from my ear.
My dream interrupted
by Professor McLear.

“Morning Gallini, it’s early I know.
One request, then back to sleep you go.”

“Mr. Gallini, I’ll ask you again
How many electrons in nitrogen?”

She nudged, she jabbed
kicked me out of dream heaven
I stood up and yelled,
“The answer, it’s seven!”

The students clapped.
McLear dismissed class.
I turned to my angel
And let out a gasp.

“It’s you!” I said,
“from the fourth grade.
In the school yard
I used to pull your braid!”

“Tony, no way!
You’re still so cute.
Can’t talk now,
gotta scoot.”

“Gonna catch the train
on Seventh Avenue.
Gotta rush home
My mom’s got the flu.”

“Whoa, wait up!
I forgot your name.”
“Tony, see you tomorrow
Then I’ll explain.”

But tomorrow never came.
Her whispers gone, her electrons too.
My heart was empty.
Didn’t know what to do.

Something about seven.
She ran to Seventh Avenue.
I had to find her
and seven was my clue.

That’s the train to the old neighborhood.
I’ll ask around.
I’ll find her for sure.
I headed northbound!

I came to the stop,
stepped off the train.
I got to our block.
Didn’t look the same.

I found her building,
abandoned and dark.
No one to ask
so I walked to the park.

I sat on a bench
feeling lost and alone.
An old guy sat down
“You far from home?”

“I used to live here,
Looking for a girl I once knew.
She lived in that building,
Blond braid, her eyes are blue.”

But the old guy lost interest.
His focus was lunch.
From an old wrinkled bag,
got a bagel to munch.

The worn paper bag
had a store name in bold.
It jolted me back
to a memory so old.

“The bakery!” I shouted
“That’s where she is.
Her mom was a baker.
Always cookies for us kids.”

The old guy mumbled,
“The baker was my girl.
They moved years ago.
You’re lookin for Pearl”

“Where’d they go?” I screamed.
“Not too far,” he said.
Better hurry.
Pearl’s mom’s sick in bed.”

“What’s the address?” I yelled.
“Take the Seven uptown to Two Forty Fourth.
Get out and start walkin
About six blocks north.”

No bakery anywhere.
I needed a clue.
I bought three Lotto tickets.
Didn’t know what else to do.

Scratched down to the numbers.
Three sevens aligned.
It made sense to me now.
An address to find!

I followed the numbers
to a pretty brick home.
Seven, seven, seven
gleaming in chrome.

Bronx County Hospice.
I opened the door.
Electron Girl and her mom
baking s’mores.

They looked up and smiled.
“It’s Nitrogen Boy!”
“Cute like you said.”
Their eyes filled with joy.

I grabbed a s’more
as they danced to their song.
And together they sang,
“What took you so long?”