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The Literary Groong - 06/24/2006

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	By Knarik O. Meneshian

	We climbed the hill,
	My brother and I,
	We climbed until we reached the top.
	In the distance stood the mountains called Verdugo.

	The California sky was bright,
	And the air was crisp
	As the March winds stirred
	On this first day of spring.

	Despite the winds,
	It was peaceful here, 
	Among the rows and rows
	Of old and new
	Level-with-the-ground headstones.
	In the distance, 
	Lay red flowers - another headstone to be placed.

	We walked, my brother and I,
	Until we came to the place
	Father and Mother were laid to rest.
	We looked up at the sky - their far-away sky,
	The rambling, green vastness, flowers, and trees,
	Down at their embossed names
	And the words describing
	Who they were?

	Husband, Father, Grandfather.
	Wife, Mother, Grandmother.
	But they were so much more?
	He, the man from the Mountains of Armenia, the Land of Ararat,
	She, the woman from the Alps of Austria, the Land of Edelweiss,
	Both surviving horrors...

	We kneeled, my brother and I,
	And lit a dish of frankincense. 
	As the smoke rose,  
	Filling the air with its ancient, sweet scent,
	In the language of our father,
	We began "Hayr Mer - Our Father"

	Here they were?  
	Together, resting forever
	Under the California sky,
	Among countless others
	Who, too, had come to make these mountains?
	Mountains of America?
	Their home.

Knarik O. Meneshian was born in Austria. Her father was Armenian from
Armenia and her mother was Austrian from Austria. She is a writer and
teacher. She is married and lives in Glenview, Illinois with her
family.  In 1991, Knarik taught English in the village of Jrashen
(Spitak Region), Armenia. In 2002-2003, she and her husband lived in
Armenia for a year as volunteers and taught English and Computers in
Gyumri and Tsaghgadzor. Her various works have been published in
American and Armenian publications.  She has authored a book of poems
titled Reflections, and translated from Armenian to English Reverend
D. Antreassian's book titled The Banishment of Zeitoun and Suedia's
Revolt. Knarik's articles on life in Armenia are currently being
published in `The Armenian Weekly.'

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