William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Verb or Noun

Every day, I notice how worn our broom has become. I suppose it might take a little longer to sweep the same space, I really don’t know. And when I finish, and the walk and steps are clean, I might be a little older than I would have been had I been using a new broom. Or I might be a little younger. Time, if it exists, is such a peculiar thing.

In the little shed out back, there’s an even older broom. It has a black handle. I remember the day my mother bought it. It was very sturdy, larger and more bristly than some. It was the one she wanted. As it turned out, I used it a lot more than she did.

She fell down the steps more than once. But she didn’t break anything. She was tough, and had hard bones.

I used that old broom right down to the nub.

She lived her life until it was gone.

Eventually, one buys a new broom. But one doesn’t buy a new mother.

These days, I think I might be a broom someone else is using. I like that idea.

Gray bristles — your choice of verb or noun.

Or, why not both?

There’s something particularly satisfying about being vague.

I love the light it shines on your expression, especially when you nod and almost say,

Yes, why not a broom. I might be one myself. In the right hands, I would be thought of as wealth.

Categories: Everything and Nothing, New Poems & Pieces

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