I Stumble into a Portal on 4th Street

by Marie Henry

Yeah, things are grim. But not all of it. I get buzzed into my bank which is almost pandemically empty. And am invited to sit down in a cushy chair by the lovely teller seated on the other side of the plexiglass.

I tell her the $48 check I’m cashing got stuck between some papers and I just found it. Don’t you just love that, she says. It’s like when you find money in a pocket. The date on the check is four months old, so I kept looking to see if it was already void. Another two months and it would’ve been, she tells me, reveling in my good luck.

I notice her name plate: Ola Keola. And yes, she replies, she is Hawaiian. Such a great name! And it rhymes—I love it! It’s a nickname, Ola Keola tells me. When the bank hired her, they actually let her use it. So there it is, engraved on her name plate.

I step back out onto the sidewalk, $48 in my pocket and the name Ola Keola rolling through my head like the sound of waves. I’m walking on sand, barefoot. Water washing over my feet. Ola Keola… Ola Keola… the afternoon humming.


Marie Henry is a San Francisco-born poet and musician. Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals including Runes, Exquisite Corpse, Yellow Silk; and anthologies including Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose, Full Court: A Literary Anthology of Basketball, and Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction.


Filed under Fiction

2 responses to “I Stumble into a Portal on 4th Street

  1. A nice bright spot in your day cleverly described

  2. Jan Le Pouvoir

    Marie, my childhood friend from the decades of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s… I love how you’ve evolved these last sixty+ years. I send love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s