Sunday, April 22, 2012


Like you, perhaps, I knew the Lincolns had a son named Willie. And also perhaps like you,
I knew he had died as a boy when the family was living in the White House. Old history
lessons — we carry them around with us, never quite sure if, when, or where they will be needed. And then, very early one spring morning, while outside grass grows and lilacs are swelling to bloom, there arrives a painful reminder and revelation: the Lincolns’ boy is dead.

All these years, the news was waiting in the shadows. A pail is lowered into the well. But will the same hands bring it up again? That we never know, and never will.

Recently Received

Thank you, Jonathan,
for your lovely booklet of poems,
Horizontal Monolith (Into the Snow Hatch),
so beautifully inscribed.

Thank you, Paul,
for Comfort Found in Good Old Books,
the essay volume a hundred
one years old.

Treasured gifts, treasured friends.

Thanks, also, to those who have asked after me during this quiet time.

The reading goes on.
Each day I drift a thousand miles.
I’m willing to go.


Jonathan Chant said...

Welcome back, William.

Checked out Comfort Found In Good Old Books (on-line edition). Found the following inspiring:

Don't take up a magazine or a newspaper when you have fifteen minutes or a half hour of leisure alone in your room. Keep a good book and make it a habit to read so many pages in the time that is your own. Cultivate rapid reading, with your mind intent on your book. You will find in a month that you have doubled your speed and that you have fixed in your mind what you have read, and thus made it a permanent possession. If you persist in this course, reading always as though you had only a few moments to spare and concentrating your mind on the page before you, you will find that reading becomes automatic and that you can easily read thirty pages where before ten pages seemed a hard task.

Jan said...

I feel as if an old friend has returned home. Welcome back, were missed by your friends~~~


William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Jonathan. Valuable advice. I do wonder how many copies were printed. The illustrations, of which there are many, were gently glued in by hand. That probably doesn’t show in the online edition....

Hi, Jan! That’s very nice of you to say. Thank you.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

yes it is nice to see you agian

Aleksandra said...

He,good to read this...being in a very bad place myself,could not do much of anything,glad that you are ok. Take care
is there any way to avoid this horrible word verification? even if you write the letters correct it is getting you to do it again....and again...

William Michaelian said...

Hello, Laura. Thank you. And you know the feeling goes both ways.

Aleksandra, I suppose I could turn off the word verification; on the other hand, maybe they will change it again. Who knows? In the meantime, thank you for your note. I hope things get better. You deserve it.

Two Tigers said...

Glad to see you back here, William. But even without Blogger, through the silence, I follow you.

William Michaelian said...

Gabriella, your kind words suggest that we might exist outside or beyond the Internet — a radical thought indeed! And of course this is underscored beautifully in your recent post about letter-writing. Here’s hoping no one reports us. Thanks for your lovely note.