Grains of Sand

Look here:
     This man’s teeth were worn
     By chewing grains of sand.
     It was mixed with their corn,
     You know. They ate a lot of corn.
     Wouldn’t, couldn’t, live without it.

According to these measurements,
     He was thirty-five years old.
     That was a long time back then.
     Did he sleep well? I don’t know.
     But he had long fingers.
     Did he love his wife?
     Did she love him?
     Behold his heavy brow.
     With the aid of our computers,
     We’ll know less than we do now.

He looked like this,
     Walked like this,
     Sold insurance for a living.
     Frightened his neighbors
     Remembering costly avalanches
     And attacks by wild spiders.
     Got up each day and ate his corn,
     The bane of his existence.
     Walked out among the rustling leaves,
     Admired stalks squeaking in the sun,
     Wished he too were a farmer.

Just last month,
     His daughter was gently shoved
     Into a smoldering volcano.
     Always a cheerful student,
     Her sacrifice was applauded
     By the local school board,
     Then another pile of books
     Was burned.

So it goes, he said. So it goes.
     We gain our wisdom at a price.
     But don’t his toes look nice?
     These bones will fetch us thousands.

May 17, 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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