William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings


I spent part of yesterday afternoon weeding the front slope. Leaning against the mossy retaining wall, I did the work by hand, one weed at a time, my right hand pulling, my left planted firmly on the ground. As I went along, I also used my right hand as a rake, massaging every inch of the moist, aromatic soil, my hand being massaged in return. This went on for an hour or so. After I’d finished what I could reach around the juniper, lilac, rose, and cedar, I pulled myself up on the wall and worked on the upper part of the slope while squatting with my feet flat on the ground. Had I stood, or even crouched, I would have been caught up in all the branches. Even so, when I was done, my hair was full of old dry juniper bits. And the juniper is in bloom, so any extra disturbance would have covered me with pollen. I continued on, weeding around budding tulips, blooming daffodils, and some tiny bulbs called Glory of the Snow, which, after a tough start three or four years ago, have taken hold and are starting to naturalize. Long before I was done, I knew I did not want to be done. After pulling the last few weeds, it felt as if the earth did not want to let go of my hands. Stay, she said. And so I did, a little while longer.

March 24, 2021


[ 1056 ]

Categories: New Poems & Pieces

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,