Along a Stony Path

It happens every spring:
the weather warms and I open
my workroom window.

Laden with pollen and perfume,
the breeze fills the curtain
like a sail and knocks over
the picture of my father sitting
sideways on his tractor in the yard,
looking down at the left rear tire
with cleats already half-worn,
his right hand on the wheel.

The five-by-seven frame
falls from its pedestal of books
and lands with a crash
on my faithful laser printer,
which squeaks when it runs and
requires my gentle doctor�s touch
to deliver a newborn page,
though I omit the spank.

Then I discover how dusty
the top book has become,
my Zhamakirk, or Book of Hours,
printed in Classical Armenian in 1955
at the Monastery of Saint James
in the Old City of Jerusalem.

His work undone, my father waits
impatiently while I turn the brittle,
yellowed pages, pleased to find I can still
read the words inside, the old mad
alphabet carved along a stony path
marked by musical notation,
stresses and swirls few priests follow
and only experts understand.

Finally, I put down the book
and pick up my father, tractor and all.
I am his father now. Every spring,
he listens to my insane lullaby,
intent upon his vineyard rows.
Every spring, we are both surprised.

May 15, 2005

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Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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