James Tate
A Boy and His Cow

 I sat on my couch and hummed a little tune.  I didn’t recog-
nize it, but, still, I continued to hum.  I was going into a
trance and felt dizzy.  I leapt up and said, “This is not a good
idea, boy.  Snap out of it.  You have responsibilities, places
to go, things to see, people to meet, worlds to conquer.”  Then
I fell to the floor and lay there with one eye open, twitching.
I had been attacked by a brutal imp.  I was having trouble moving
my limbs.  I said, “You’ll be sorry for this.”  A hand reached down
and pulled me up, a hand belonging to no one.  I got myself a
glass of water and drank it.  It started leaking out of me.  I
went and called the plumber.  “I’ve got leaks,” I said.  I was
hoping I could save the day, because I had great plans, things
I had always wanted to do, but never got done.  Something was
crawling up the wall.  It was a Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle.
That must mean something.  Good fortune?  Death?  I grab the glass
and quickly capture him and throw him outside.  Too risky.  I
return to the couch and start to hum a little tune my mother used
to sing to me when I was a child about a boy and his cow.  And
so the afternoon passed into evening, and in the evening I sewed
a button on my shirt, and felt really good about that.