What Are The Odds?
by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn

The day Braniff Air
went bankrupt,
fleet grounded,
radio bulletins said
other carriers
would help.
And I,
stuck with a ticket,
lost my wallet.
I pulled into McDonald’s
on the way to the airport,
fumbled for my billfold.
I dumped out my purse,
flung clothes
from my bag.
I thumped my forehead —
I’d left it on the car roof
while packing!
The wingless leather clutch
had flown away.
I pictured skid marks
on my family photos,
a stranger whipping out
my Discover card,
the boarding pass
muddied mush.
Two weeks later,
a trucker called.
He’d collected everything
strewn along an overpass.
He smiled at my reward —
a bear hug, coffee and pie.

IMAGE: “Accessories” by Joan Brown (1971).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The inspiration for this poem is true. My husband and I were on our way to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in a rainstorm the day Braniff grounded its fleet. We were going to see about changing our tickets to Kansas City, Missouri, to another airline. This was before iPhones, etc. Unfortunately, my husband remembered he’d placed his wallet on the roof of the car as we packed. It flew off, and we had to turn back, because one couldn’t fly without one’s driver’s license. Some weeks later, a man called and said he’d found everything!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sylvia Riojas Vaughn is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She has been selected as a Houston Poetry Fest Juried Poet three times.  She belongs to the Dallas Poets Community. Her work appears in The Arachneed Journal, Red River Review, Triadæ, HOUSEBOAT, Diálogo, Desde Hong Kong: Poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016), and anthologies and journals in the U.S. and abroad. Find her on LinkedIn.