William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Bare Feet and Chamomile

Early yesterday morning, after we had listened for several minutes to an immense choir of birds at Goose Lake and were back on the main path, I took off my sandals and walked a fairly long stretch on my sixty-five-year-old bare feet. They were so thrilled by the sensation of the cool earth and budding chamomile that, if they had eyes, they might have wept for joy. This gave way to a sense of exaltation, then calm, until, after quite a distance, my brain had recorded all it could and said, Let us finish the walk in sandals. And so I put them on again. The sandals are very simple and very thin, and are of the huarache design. They are held to my feet by a single continuous strap, and leave my toes free and the tops and sides of my feet exposed to the dew-covered grasses. Having them on again, my ecstatic soles questioned the decision. Finally, they said, Very well. And I followed them past the old cottonwood tree down to the edge of Mission Lake, where we heard a splash and saw the back of a salmon, and watched for a time the fish feeding about eight or ten feet from the shore. Caught by the soft morning light, the rings in the water radiating from its movement were charged with music and color — the music with silence, the color with sound. We continued on. We heard a great blue heron call.

May 23, 2021


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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