Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison

by Jim Harrison, in “In Search of Small Gods”

Out in the nighttime in the caliche-gravel driveway
doing a shuffle dance to the music of the lunar eclipse,
a dark gray and reddish smear blocking the moon.
I’m embarrassed by my dance steps learned
from the Ojibwa over fifty years ago,
but then who’s watching but a few startled birds,
especially a canyon wren nesting in a crack of the huge
rock face? Without the moon’s white light the sky
is suddenly overpopulated with stars like China and India
with people. The stars cast the longest of shadows.
I dance until I’m a breathless old fool thinking
that the spirit of their blinded moon is as real
as that enormous toad that used to bury itself
between the house and the barn of our farm
in Lake Leelanau. One evening I watched him slowly
erupt from the ground. Now the moon’s white light
begins to show itself, shining off looming Red Mountain
where years ago I’m told a Mexican boy climbed
to the top to play a song more closely to his dead sister.
Luna, luna, luna, we must sing to praise living and dead.

Bittersweet Memories

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