Monday, September 26, 2011

Crossing


A new gray pickup was parked beside the road in front of my childhood home, just past our Canary Island pine. Out of it, one by one, their feet in shoes on the ground, came several dead relatives on my father’s side — old uncles and cousins different now and restored to health, restored from suicide, cancer, and loss.




Lord, I said from a plateau of unbelieving, it’s good to see them again.

And who is this extra brother, friendly and familiar as all the rest?

The wind blew off my hat. I caught it mid-gust and put it on again.

I’d crossed the road to get the mail. Our mailbox had been chopped down, so I walked on to a neighbor’s house that wasn’t there in the past, and found the mail waiting for me on a table outside. When I turned around, the relatives were walking toward me.

Joyful greetings all around — but no touching, no handshakes or hugs or rugged back rubs.

We all knew, something.

Crossing again — whatever was there is gone.


Image: My Father’s Side, September 13, 2009, #2 Pencil on Index Card.



9 comments:

Gerry Boyd said...

Beautiful...

William Michaelian said...

Gerry, thank you, kind sir.

leigh tuplin said...

I like how you 'see', William, and the way you convey that is indeed beautiful.

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Leigh. Like crossing a road, the distance between seeing and saying is an amazing voyage, especially where dreams are involved. Then again, when aren’t they?

Joseph Hutchison said...

Is your pine from the Canary Islands, or do canaries nest in it? If the latter, break out your video recorder: YouTube riches await....

Wine and Words said...

Might be heaven, but for the mailbox axed.

William Michaelian said...

Joe, with canaries or without, I’ve always had trouble filming my dreams. Maybe I should try using a camera.... Canary Island pine: ours was — and remains, though someone else lives there now — one of tallest, most graceful pines on Avenue 408, visible from several miles off. Long graceful needles fit to comb. My father planted it in the Forties shortly after the war. Tweet that....

True, Annie. Then again, it depends on how you feel about junk mail.

Geckostone said...

Wow, great stuff! I like what you said to Leigh too! You sure have magic with words! Deb

William Michaelian said...

Hi, Deb — thank you! I’m happy you could drop by.