William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


Not that many days ago, I was nearly finished with my evening walk when, at the foot of a driveway of a house for sale, I was met with a single bark by a shaggy, two-toned spaniel. At the same time, I noticed a man occupied at some task behind, and mostly obscured by, an old white pickup. I greeted the dog and bent down to let it sniff the back of my hand, which it did, until it was startled by something and suddenly retreated. The man, meanwhile, kept on with whatever he was doing — apparently absorbed to the point that I wondered if he was even aware of the dog’s presence, or mine. Not wanting to intrude, I continued on. A house or two farther on, I glanced back, only to find the dog following from a short, safe distance, sniffing and investigating. I heard no whistle. Was it a stray? — until finally, when I was almost home, it suddenly turned back in the direction we’d come. I haven’t seen it since, or the man. The real estate sign says, “Coming Soon.” But maybe it should read, “Already Gone.” Either way suggests the end of the world, or the end, at least, of one.


Empty cupboards
and bare walls:
did you know
that we had gone?

What did you feel
that first long night alone?

A sigh at every window,
gray hands upon each knob.

And when strangers hurried on?

I drove them mad with groans,
made their fires all go out.

A wise approach. And now?

I’m as mad as anyone.

Songs and Letters, November 15, 2006
Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007

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Categories: Another Song I Know, New Poems & Pieces, Songs and Letters

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