The Quarter by Jim Harrison
Maybe the problem was that I got involved with the wrong crowd of gods
when I was seven. At first they weren't harmful and only showed
themselves as fish, birds, especially herons and loons, turtles, a bobcat and a
small bear, but not deer and rabbits who only offered themselves as food.
And maybe I spent too much time inside the water of lakes and rivers.
Underwater seemed like the safest church I could go to. And sleeping
outside that young might have seeped too much dark into my brain and
bones. It was not for me to ever recover. The other day I found a quarter in
the driveway I lost at the Mecosta State Fair in 1947 and missed out on five
rides including the Ferris wheel and the Tilt-A-Whirl. I sat in anger for hours
in the bull barn mourning my lost quarter on which the entire tragic history
of earth is written. I looked up into the holes of the bulls' massive noses and
at the brass rings puncturing their noses which allowed them to be led. It
would have been an easier life if I had allowed a ring in my nose but so
many years later I still find the spore of the gods here and there but never in
the vicinity of quarters.