William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

The Family Tree

It’s a pity, in a way, that each of us can’t, during the most heightened moments of our righteous anger, suddenly find ourselves surrounded by our ancestors — not just to the extent of our easily accessible family tree, but all the way to the beginning. For surely, in genetic, genealogical terms, we are not who we think we are; we are far different and far more than the knowledge of our immediate background affords. In essence, it’s inevitable that we’d find that we’d either have to hate ourselves in order to accommodate our current prejudices and views; or we’d come to love each other once and for all. We would see that we are each other — a glorious blend of language, custom, and culture, of diet, color, and dream. It’s convenient and dangerous to look back only so far, and to believe that we belong to this or that nationality or tribe, each of which, like the languages we speak, has passed through countless changes, until, if we go back far enough, it doesn’t exist at all. I say it’s a pity — but while such a thing isn’t practically possible, it is possible through words, and our ability to take their meaning to heart, and make it manifest. And I wouldn’t stop there; for in our bodily death and decomposition, we are related to all things, not only that which is human. We are every rock, tree, and grain of sand; every elephant, every fish, every fly on the wall. Listen. Is that you buzzing? Is it me? Aren’t we the stars? Aren’t we the leaves that fall?

January 15, 2021


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Categories: Everything and Nothing, New Poems & Pieces

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