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The Literary Groong - 03/29/2008

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	by Helene Pilibosian

	  If a lamb were born in Armenia 
	where it realized its innocence,
	would it be
	of the same heredity
	of genes and mystical whys as I?

	  Would the cells
	of its nourishing blood
	be stamped Yerevan,
	the capital city,
	or would they decry
	the lost one slightly to the west?

	  Would it imbibe pride
	with every drink of water
	as the people do?

	  Or would it be the lamb
	that a mother calls--
	karnoog, she might say
	while patting affection's fur--
	to a child with scrawny legs,
	hoping that home will be her religion?

	  Or would nation or heredity
	be a consideration?

	  Would it be a he-lamb or she-lamb 
	patted by controversy
	or neutral as a spade?

	  Would its eyes talk to me or you 
	or anyone of the reluctant world
	of a universe of plurals?

	  Would its first small cry
	wake us from a pure sleep
	or would nest in a corner
	unelegantly as we do?

	  The answers are cast
	in the stones we breathe
	out of the seething air.

This poem is from Helene Pilibosian's new book, History's Twists: The
Armenians, scheduled for January 2008 release by Ohan Press. She is
the author of Carvings from an Heirloom: Oral History Poems and At
Quarter Past Reality: New and Selected Poems and co-author of the
prose memoir They Called Me Mustafa.  The recently released anthology
Forgotten Bread: First Generation Armenian American Writing from
Heyday Books contains many of her poems and others are upcoming in the
magazines Plainsongs and Borderlands.  Some of her poems have won
prizes and finalist status in literary competitions.  The Ohan Press
web site can be found at

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