William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

A Bird in the Hand

I often rhyme without meaning to. On the bright side, though, I am not a senator.


A Bird in the Hand

How many juncos must there be, that we always have our generous share? How many scrub-jays, chickadees, and crows? They are everywhere, from breathless dawn to chilly dusk. They make shadows of memory, soft gray mist of thought. They do not mind our ways, our windows and our doors. We hear their voices. They hear ours. And these old rugs are nothing to their green and velvet moss. Their glistening limbs are more inviting than our floors. But we — oh, yes, we — are the smart ones, with our prisons and our laws, our cancers and our sores. Not one of them is homeless. Not one of them is poor. Hungry, yes — in a bright and joyous sense, for to them no way is barred. They have no politicians. They have the sky above. We have food lines. We have fireworks. We have eyes that plead for love. A bird in the hand is more than we are worth. We need them in our aching, beating, hearts.

December 14, 2020


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