William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Aging’

Oaks Remember Poppies

A friendly neighbor out walking is glad to see us. After exchanging greetings, he reaches out as we pass, and almost touches my shoulder. Someday we might even know each other’s names, and then forget them when we’re older. And someday when it’s warmer, we will be colder.   Oaks Remember Poppies Sunflower sprouting in a paw-print. A pot on the step by the door. Oaks remember poppies. We forget […]

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Wobbles

The crocuses we planted near the sidewalk and which had their first bloom last spring, doubled, tripled, possibly even quadrupled this year. Like love, the bulbs are spreading, and in so doing, they are making their own fertile ground.   Wobbles a squeaky old tricycle and a squeaky old man love is the child who gives him her hand

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Shall We Go See the Old Man?

How many people I had been before this poem was written, how many I was during the sustained moment of its composition, how many immediately upon its completion, how many I have been since then, how many I am now, and how many I will be if I survive this unwieldy sentence, all while being who I am in any recognizable, cohesive sense, is, I imagine, at least partly answered […]

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My Word, My Age, My Cage

I am as old now as I was when I was a child in my first pair of overalls, standing at the edge of the garden with my face near a flower. I even wear the same smile, a smile a bee might wear if he suddenly discovered he was human. And I am as old as the bee. I am as old now as I was when the fall […]

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Wings

One thing my wife and I have learned on our many hikes through the mountains, is that on the steep downhill parts of the trail, it’s best if we don’t try to break our momentum. Instead, we run. That way, when the hike is done and in the days following, there’s no pain in our feet and knees and ankles. Also, the alertness, attention, and coordination required is a stimulating […]

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My Mother Saved Our Baby Shoes

Each day, I give thanks for the unknown and unexplained.   My Mother Saved Our Baby Shoes My mother saved our baby shoes, two handfuls of wedding rice in delicate nets, flowers, roses, brittle stems, in her cedar chest. And in all her years of not remembering, I wonder which she forgot the best. I wonder which she smiled at when she sat here dreaming in her make-believe and present-tense. […]

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Sweet Kisses

Fifty years ago, when my father went to visit a farm neighbor dying of cancer, he heard him howling with pain the moment he entered our little hometown hospital. I was born in that hospital. When we were in high school, a close friend of mine died in that hospital. Three of our four children were born in that hospital. In that hospital, my appendix was removed. My wife worked […]

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Long Time to Know

Could there be anything more arrogant and absurd than thinking I have someone, or many, in the palm of my hand, that he, she, or they, are under my influence and at my command? Could there be anything more self-crippling, isolating, and sad than the need to be someone at such a tragic expense? Would it not be better to be a tree in the wind, a survivor of sixty-two […]

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Silence

Would I be a good public speaker? Even at my advanced age, I don’t know. I’ve never sought the opportunity, which might be a way of saying I’ve avoided it. And if I have avoided it, I’ve probably done so for the usual reasons: fear of failure, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of embarrassment. And if these are the reasons, they must have their origin somewhere in […]

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The Old Life

My never-to-be-published writings really don’t amount to much — a few hundred thousand words at most, represented by two or three thick typescripts, quite a few stories, and dozens of poems. And when I say never-to-be-published, I mean that they are going directly into the flames. They had to be written; how else was I to learn? That purpose served, now they can be thrown away. And while I might […]

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