Short sentences. Or phrases. Parsing out the experience. Images illuminating a moment. A prose poem.

My Mercury Dime

The tenth hole on our golf course is flat. Until the gully at the end of the fairway.

flat fairway

You don’t want to hit into the gully. Chipping out is tough. Thick grass. Steep banks. Boggy conditions. Mud and sand at the edges. Nasty.

gully 1

I often hit into the gully. As if I’m drawn to it. As I was this past Wednesday playing with friends.

I saw my ball disappear over the brink. A new ball. I approached the edge. No ball in sight.

Down the slope I went. Into the mushy gully.

I still couldn’t see it. I walked along the gully toward our sturdy little bridge.

Bridge 2

A couple grounds workers were trenching and replacing drain pipe. Beyond the bridge.

I stopped. Looked down at my muddy golf shoes. And there it was.

A Mercury dime.


I picked it up. It wasn’t shiny, like the picture above.

It was dull. Worn. Weary. Like the picture below.

My dime

But it bore the same date. 1943.

Hmmm…1943…the middle of World War II…

Someone was playing golf while the world burned. And playing poorly. Like I was today.

I know, of course, the dime could’ve been dropped years after the War. I know that. Of course I do.

Then I saw Japanese tanks. And soldiers.

japan soldier tanks

I saw Messerschmitt’s in the sky above me. I heard bombs explode in the distant hills.


I looked up into the oak trees for snipers. I wished a foxhole was nearby.


I put the dime in my pocket. The world calmed. The present came into focus.

I found my golf ball in the deep grass. I lined up my shot.

ball in grass

I took slow, deep breaths. To calm myself.

I chipped onto the green.

I putted well. Not a par. But respectful nevertheless.

I put my Mercury dime in my golf bag.

Where it waits for me. Quiet and peaceful at last.





5 Responses to My Mercury Dime

  1. Virginia says:

    My Dad collects coins and as I kid I did, too, so I enjoyed the nostalgia of the piece. Also recently read Unbroken, and then watched a bunch of old WWII themed movies, so the WWII references are timely references for me, too. Nice piece, Frank!

  2. Susanne Ziegler says:

    So many idioms with the word ‘dime’!

    Since it is political season: “There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two candidates—they’re both crooks, in my opinion. You can holler all you like, it won’t make a dime’s worth of difference.”

    Frank, is it stamped with a ‘D’ or ‘S’ or nothing? Just curious…….. Susanne (Tim)

  3. mark says:

    somebody ‘dropped a dime on you?’

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