Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Supplies


My mother’s name on twelve new socks.
Eighty-eight years old, one eye weak and a mind to match,
she’ll neither see nor recognize my hand.

A new pair of slippers, wide enough for wayward toes,
black-block letters on gray soles.
If I’m at home, is she away at camp?

Lotion for dry skin. Toothpaste for what remains
of Stonehenge. An old, familiar brand.

Tissue for a sneeze that rarely comes — but when it does,
oh, lord. The rest for Sunday-singing should warm tears arise,
or moonlight find her room through unclosed blinds.

In a hat beneath gray skies, beside chrysanthemums
and trees that sigh, reckoning geese in fog and the smoke
of ties that bind, strikes deep the hour never really done,
tolls the sound of father, son, and gone.


Update:
“Supplies” added to Poems, Slightly Used.


9.28.2010 #2
9.28.2010 #1 (drawing)

17 comments:

awyn said...

Wonderful writing today, William. A pleasure to read.

jasmin said...

dear William, without words, it says everything for hours, a farewell, do not let go of the thoughts, embrace in love Jasmin...

William Michaelian said...

Annie and Jasmin, thank you both.

Two Tigers said...

Good stuff, William! I have come across so much mediocre verse over the years, self-indulgent, ill-crafted and dead inside. It is a rare pleasure to read your work, and sense not only all the thought and feeling that go into it, but also that sparked life inside it that reaches out to the reader and becomes something bigger than just words on the page. Bravo.

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Gabriella. Your beautiful, inspiring response means the world to me.

Wine and Words said...

There is hope, for me. With two sons, I often wonder if there is the possibility of their being attentive like that, and not....with revulsion or distaste. I still don't know. But there is hope they will be men like you.

Joseph Hutchison said...

An amazing poem, William, with an uncanny music. Just reading the last words of every line is a lesson in the intensity of its voice....

William Michaelian said...

Ah, dear Annie. Thank you. Let’s do our best and encourage our kids to do theirs, and hope like hell our failings will be understood over time, and that we are around long enough to see it all.

Joe, thanks. Your observations coincide with the good feelings I have about this poem. More as witness than as cause, I marvel that such things are possible.

Akeith Walters said...

Well done. Great writing that gives me great pleasure to read. Thanks.

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Gray.

Anthony Duce said...

This is so very good. I think of the care packages when visiting my parents. Thank you

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Anthony. Indeed, how many times must this little scene be played out each day....

Elisabeth said...

I seem to miss your posts more these days, but it's good to read this beautiful and resonant poem here now, a joy indeed. Best wishes to you William.

rahina q.h. said...

beautiful, touching verse William especially as it made beautiful images in my head while i read it

William Michaelian said...

Best wishes, Elisabeth, and thank you.

Thank you too, Rahina. That’s wonderful to hear.

ALeks said...

What a beautiful list for,maybe, the travel bag!!
Lovely,warm picture I get over here,bit lonely but warm,it must be the mind to match or the hand she does not need to recognize as long as it is around her tiny shoulders ...beautiful William!

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Aleksandra!