William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Wilderness Notes

While trees ravaged by the ice storm can be seen in every direction, there are a great many that have come through unscathed. The young cedar in our little wilderness is one, as is the juniper, which will soon break into bloom. The pine, the branches of which were so weighted with ice that they hung by its side, has resumed its airy, elegant form, with only one small broken branch. The firs nearby and all over the area sustained very little damage. The birches, though — the poor gentle beings — are in dire need of consolation; many have already undergone amputation, and many others are beyond surgical repair. Still, there are some that would willingly survive and regrow with understanding and the proper encouragement. When I see them, I know just what I would cut and what I would leave in order for them to resume their graceful lives. And then sometimes the very next day, I find this one and that one has been cut off at the ground. Behind the house, the paper white birches did not break. Instead, the tops have become bowed. The trees are now weeping birches. Fifteen or twenty feet from their tips, the trunks, about four inches thick, were pliant enough to bend at a 130-degree angle. When the branches were coated with ice, and again when the ice was melting, we thought the trunks would break. Now it seems they know better than to try to straighten up. Perhaps they will, just a little, as grandmothers do when they take sheets of cookies from the oven. There is so much love in life’s kitchen. We will gladly be the birches’ grandchildren.

February 17, 2021


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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