William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


Do my hands have lives of their own? I watch them setting out vegetable plants, and marvel at their confidence. The plants know they have nothing to fear, do not cease even for a moment their eager communications with the sun.

My fingers are intuitive miniature plows. I might have been a barber. I visited a barber college once, with the thought that I might learn to ply that trade. I decided against it. The year was 1987. Even then, the siren call of poverty was more than I could withstand.


Long after I am gone — the roots I leave behind, the crooked plow, the rutted ground, the sacred well, the wind that blows dust into my eyes — you will say, He was one of us, our own, as if all were known of this great, gray world in which I roam, and my answer will not be a song, but a gift, a drop of blood, an ache, a thorn in your soul.

Poems, Slightly Used, January 6, 2011

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Categories: Poems, Slightly Used

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