"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

09 May 2017


Curtis, Crow Warriors, 1908


It had been very hot for three weeks
so I worked well into a cool night
when at three a.m. a big thunderstorm hit.
I went out in the yard naked and sat
at the picnic table for a rain bath
careful about the rattlesnake on the sidewalk.
The sky drowned the mosquitoes
feeding on me. The lightning was relentless
and lit up the valley so I could see
the ghosts who had me ill this past year.
Then I was part of a battle from two
hundred years ago when the Cheyenne
from the east attacked the Absaroka,
the Crow, in this valley. A group of the Cheyenne
massaum, the wolves of heaven,
warriors who painted themselves solid yellow.
One on a black horse stopped at our gate
but decided not to kill me.
I want to be a yellow wolf of heaven.
They disappeared into the lightning.

Jim Harrison

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