Probably, The Bell Curve

Probability dictates a world
where no one trips,
no one stumbles,
where no accident occurs

In some corner of this multiverse,
on some planet spinning
below a just right sun,
some language with no word for luck

A place where no stray cosmic ray
bounces a cell to cancer,
where the precarious bridge breaks
the second after landfall’s made

Each child’s fall from a tree’s
cushioned by a mossy bank
or passing pal,
each swerving car on black ice

the long and laughing bus stop queue.
Even the Drano bottle you swig’s
been swapped for orange juice.
Fortune dances at the far end of the bell curve here.

Somewhere out there, probably,
a world where the coin always falls
on the side you call,
where the safety net is never needed,

But it’s not here.




A.F. Harrold writes and performs for adults and children. His poetry is published by Two Rivers Press and Burning Eye Books; his children’s fiction by Bloomsbury. Visit



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