William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Childhood’

Teacher, Teacher (and a note)

We sat in rows in classrooms. We laughed and squirmed and raised our hands. Pretty girls, awkward boys. Pretty boys, boyish girls. Dervish whirls and eyes. Teacher, teacher, tell us true. You have seen us, bright and blue. We were meek and we were wise. You taught us, and we taught you. Some were lies, some were true. Teacher, teacher. Teacher, teacher, teacher. * I don’t resolve, but I do […]

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Reunion

As my fingertips on one hand traced the lines of the open palm of the other, I suddenly recognized them both as old childhood friends. It felt like years since I’d seen them. I held them up. They looked at each other, then at me. There were many things I could have asked them, but they seemed so sensitive and shy, I only nodded and kept silent, thinking, Perhaps another […]

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Time and Shoes

It’s easy to live without clocks where there are none. My early childhood was one of those places. Now, in this childhood, I’ve hidden the clock on the computer. I wonder: was teaching me how to tell the time an act of kindness, or unwitting cruelty? And might I not ask the same thing about putting on and tying my shoes? In both instances, shouldn’t the teaching also have stressed, […]

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Believe Not In Corners

The movement of birds, leaves, and insects; the changing patterns of light and shade; clouds; a walker passing by; all accompanied by subtle changes in humidity and temperature — these are the things we miss when we stay indoors and focus for too long on books and screens. Not only do we miss them, we miss the naturally beneficial medicine of our physical engagement and response to random stimuli, our […]

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Ocean Spray and a Two-by-Four

Ingratitude, dissatisfaction aren’t diseases in need of a cure, but failed, obsolete teachings thoughtlessly, one might say religiously, even fanatically, passed down. This year’s apricots are as good as ever, ripe early and quite large because the crop is so small due to the erratic spring weather, which included frost during bloom. The first fell, sweet and juicy, three days ago. Yesterday evening, two came off in our hands, as […]

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Luxury

Cloudy and calm, with an occasional glimpse of the moon. All through the neighborhood, the robins were silent this morning. While I was growing up, there was one telephone in the house. It was in the kitchen. When we went somewhere, to stay for a week in the mountains, for instance, no one could call us. And while we were away, the only clock we had was my father’s dollar […]

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Night, Flight, Light

The grass seed farmers have started cutting their fields. The summer scent of drying grass is intense this morning, like childhood and death in one divine breath. The streets were so quiet during my run at four-thirty, it seemed the houses were all empty. I wonder how many times the world has ended today; I wonder how many times it will begin. While I was watering the hanging basket, the […]

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That Which Survives

Dragonfly season here is a show of grace; color; delicacy. The insects rise and pause and land with an ethereal weightlessness we don’t associate with the much larger dragonflies of our youth in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where they stood on air and rumbled about in our classrooms at school, entering and leaving freely through the open doors and unscreened windows. During the warm months, which seemed to last most […]

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