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The Literary Groong - 09/13/2008

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    by Knarik O. Meneshian

    She treads softly on the parched earth.
    He steps stoically on the rocky soil.
    The river Arax shimmers in the distance 
    And age-old mountains called Zangezur stand watching. 

    The couple passes the wishing tree
    Where strips of fabric hang,
    But they wish for nothing anymore
    And brush past tattered bits of dreams and faded shades of hope,
    Murmuring, "Wishes do not come true." 

    Down in the orchard
    Where fruit trees drink 
    Murky water - 
    Runoff from the mine - 
    And piles of debris decay 
    Near butterflies, shanties, and tumbleweed,
    Large, sugary pomegranates - crimson and yellow - lie on the ground
    Spilling liquid ruby and gold.

    On the hillside,
    Lush grapevines hang full and heavy - waiting, 
    Finally offering the earth their grapes, raisins, and wine.
    "What use is our labor?" the two of them ask the wind 
    As they pass by.

    Feeling the earth at their feet
    And the wind at their back,
    They inhale the sweetness of their birthplace,
    They recall the prophecies
    Of the ancient plane tree - the sosee - 
    Still rustling in the wind 
    As they walk away 
    Down the dusty, winding road,
    Whispering, "If only wishes could come true!"

    Glancing back one more time
    At the mountains and the river,
    At the fields, the trees, and home - 
    All spread before them
    Like fine crystal and china 
    On a silk, embroidered tablecloth,
    Something stirs in them - 
    And like the mountain flower
    They remain.

Knarik O. Meneshian is a writer and lives with her family in Glenview,

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