William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Sunday Salad

Silent, motionless, unblinking: after four years, robins have built another nest in the fig tree. I don’t know how many times I’ve passed under it without knowing it was there; several today; and recently when the heat was at its peak, I moved several potted plants into the shade, very near where the mother is patiently sitting.

An ocean breeze has cooled the valley. Yesterday the temperature fell to eighty-seven degrees; this afternoon it’s seventy-three. The garden has survived; in fact it has grown and looks as good as ever. A few of the dahlias were burned, but not extensively. Even some of the tenderest, uppermost fig leaves were singed.

Yesterday we picked four beautiful Gypsy peppers, the first of the season.

This week, in addition to the usual wide variety of mixed greens, my Sunday salad includes tender purslane from the garden, and a tiny bit of fresh mint; flat-leafed parsley; spinach; half a cup of quinoa; a few garbanzos; salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice. I used a four-quart bowl, and made enough to last for several days.

Everything and everyone dies — plants, animals, people, stars, whole universes. As with each life, each death contains all of the others. Therein lies its meaning and significance.

June 30, 2021


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