William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘My Mother’

Make It Old

Steady rain — three inches and counting. There are rows of tents in the park downtown, where, decades ago, families gathered and children played. Sometime during the night, I awoke from a dream in which I and some unknown but familiar others were approached and threatened by a vague form of hostility. As the danger grew nearer, we watched and waited near a glistening cedar. Suddenly the danger was gone, […]

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I Set Sail Not Because

And now, what if, perhaps, courage is best expressed by turning off our computers? December 9, 2021 . I Set Sail Not Because I set sail not because it is a kind sea, or an angry sea, or a beguiling sea, or a wise sea, or a blind sea, or a lonely sea. For the sea is none of those things; and the sea is all of those things. Know, […]

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Donne and Done

My mother passed away eight years ago today. September 25, 2021 . Donne and Done Give or take a few centuries, my mother lived ninety-one years, two months, and twenty-one days. Alzheimer’s Disease made for a sad, confused, prolonged ending, difficult and painful for her and her family. It was also beautiful. In very personal terms, it was and remains a gift. I watched her light go out — the […]

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How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way? High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters […]

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To the Wind

I used to hand her the wooden clothespins. I was too small to reach the line. And yet somehow, I could reach the sky. . To the Wind A poem of three taut lines, defined by his mother’s wash and her clean white sails Recently Banned Literature, April 16, 2014 . [ 1081 ]

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Vincent

A trip to Safeway to pick up prescriptions for my mother: sunflowers, in six-dollar bunches by the door; rotten eggplant neatly stacked in the produce aisle; hard tomatoes and wilted bell peppers at prices few people can afford. And I think, There used to be a field here. Oh, what I could do with a field just a quarter of the size of the Safeway parking lot. The dreams I […]

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Copper In Your Palm

He had a perfect way of saying the desert had been crossed: Where water needs the flowers, we’re no longer lost. And there we laid him; and here grows the moss. “Where Water Needs the Flowers” Recently Banned Literature, April 11, 2014 . Copper In Your Palm Air so heavy with pollen and perfume, you wear it home. Comb it into the bathroom sink. Some settles on the lacy fern. […]

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Winter Lullaby

Even at the time, I felt I was living in a dream. My mother was eighty-three, and well on her way to being consumed by Alzheimer’s Disease. Our youngest son and child was eighteen, and beginning his self-guided exploration of music. In the middle of the night, it was common to hear him playing his guitar and singing. Tired as I was, I never once wished he would stop; indeed, […]

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Bridge Across the Bay

My mother’s mother was the daughter of Henry and Eliza. Saying so is a bit like imagining lines between stars that twinkle brightly some nights, less so on others. But even when it’s cloudy, I know they are there. . Bridge Across the Bay When she was twelve, my mother’s mother rode a horse into the rugged mining town of Bodie, California, to get supplies. When she was fourteen, she […]

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