William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

The Late Show

Warm days, clear nights. The junco babies are frantic with hunger, and keeping both of their parents busy bringing food to the nest. The early-morning watering ceremony continues. Frantic, yes — but when evening comes all grows quiet and the birds sleep through the night, their tiny bodies resting and growing until dawn wakes them again. Circadian perfection will guide them all of their lives, while we torture and punish ourselves with our clocks, our screens, and our lights. And it is a choice, though it may no longer seem so. Or maybe it was a choice, a choice that has passed most of us by, an inherited choice. Poverty is real; hunger is real; fear of being overtaken by them is real. The junco parents know what they must do to give their offspring the best chance of survival. For countless humans, though, who have forgotten the art of simplicity, and who have filled their heads with useless wants and imagined needs, life with or without luck can be a most complicated affair. Nature and millions of years of human evolution say, Slow down, sleep at night. Then an alarm sounds, or a gun goes off, and an ambulance races through the neighborhood to the latest fire, shooting, or heart attack. It happens during the late show; it happens in the anxious, worry-filled morning with the first foot on the floor out of bed. It happens while the birds sleep, the squirrels, the bears, the deer, the ostriches, the penguins, the baboons. It happens while the children play, and while the dust blows and the rain falls. And saying so doesn’t have to be a negative thing, or be perceived as such. Negativity is also a choice. One can speak, or not, one can be aware and concerned, and still be as light as a feather.

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Categories: A Few More Scratches

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

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