William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Letters and Figs

It was too hot yesterday evening to walk any great distance. I went to the first stop sign, turned right, then went to the next stop sign to where the fig tree is. The tree has swallowed the sign. There are ripe figs against the white letters.

Letters and figs. I opened the mailbox and found one fig from my uncle, one letter from my aunt, and one stop sign from someone who is obviously a practical joker.

I could have walked a great distance, but not comfortably. That’s what I meant. The previous evening, I did walk a great distance in the heat, and while I was glad to be out and able, it was more a test of endurance than a stroll. I passed. I even enjoyed it. And it took only half an hour to dry off afterward.

I opened the mailbox and found one uncle from my fig, one aunt from my letter, and one joker from someone who is obviously a practical stop sign.

About thirty years ago, an old friend from California shipped us a box of grapes from his vineyard. Ruby Seedless. But UPS made the delivery, so our mailbox wasn’t involved. The friend died a couple of years ago at the age of eighty-six. He liked to work and drink beer and smoke cigarettes. If he couldn’t have done those things, he would have died a lot sooner, possibly even before birth. And by that, I almost mean something.

I opened the figbox and found one uncle from my lettered joker, who has always been a practical aunt.

And it will be even hotter today. That letter has already been sent.


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Categories: Everything and Nothing, New Poems & Pieces

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