Sibyl On The Head Of A Quarter

William B. Hunt

Buying a small package of filter-tipped cigars
I had my quarters refused. Astonished, I examined them
And found, instead of George Washington, stately,
With locks rolled back, a pig-tail bow at his neck,
The unmistakable form of Sibyl, curls piled in a French Roll
On her head, etched with a wry look.
Deeply embarrassed, I paid for my cigars with other change
And left hurriedly. Later in the afternoon,
The same thing happened with a crosstown bus, the impatient,
Gray-capped driver tossing me out. Since then,
It has become my practice to use quarters only in
Vending machines, which receive them thankfully
Into their mechanical gullets, bouncing her gladly
From anvil to anvil, like the tiniest tone
Or beam of light.

Copyright CrossConnect, Inc. 1996