William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘My Mother’

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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A Child’s Christmas

A great many years ago, my mother accidentally dropped a copy of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám out of the library window. About thirty years later, I saw it on my brother’s bookshelf. She’d inscribed it to him as a gift! . A Child’s Christmas Whence this peace falling into this upturned palm? . [ 970 ]

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In Lieu Of

Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Wells Brown are both in Europe now, seeing the sights, meeting people, writing their observations and travel notes. One is a free man, wondering what freedom really is. The other is a fugitive, who knows what freedom is, or thinks he does. This leaves us to ask the reader of these two books if he knows. And he replies by saying that whatever he knows, […]

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Almost Winter

Once inside and away from the chilly weather, the jade plants in their big clay pots turned quickly to face the tall south window. The glass is cool this time of year, as the fairy tale sunlight calls to them through the open wooden blinds. The smaller of the two pots holds three plants made from cuttings several years ago, taken from my mother’s twenty-year-old plant, the trunk of which […]

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In Session

Around Salem, the size and number of homeless encampments have grown dramatically, and of late, with winter coming on, the process has accelerated. Homeless people appear now in places they were rarely or never seen before — in neighborhoods, walking along quiet roadsides, watching, resting, and waiting in the relative safety and privacy of brambles and brush and small stands of trees. Where there is one makeshift tent, others soon […]

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