Armenian News Network / Groong

The Literary Groong - 03/01/2014


    by Alex Ekmekji

    First, they take away father.
    They return the same evening
    And take away his belongings:
    His clothes, his shoes, his stories and songs.
    Mother does not know how to resist the intruders
    And consoles us with fractured sentences,
    With words shattered into jagged-edged syllables
    Like the family photographs hurled
    Onto the grand mirror in the hall.

    The tall man wearing the unfamiliar hat
    Parts the lull of the next afternoon
    With measured strides.
    "I am your new father", he says,
    And as mother prepares dinner
    He leads us into the hall
    And guides us down onto our hands and our knees
    Into the fragments of wood and glass.
    I collect the broken frames and place the pieces in father's
    Sister clears the shattered glass and retrieves the photographs,
    Father reassembles the wooden frames
    By pushing in the protruding nails with his thumbs
    And reinserts the pictures,
    Tucking their edges beneath the lips of the ancient wood,
    Then from the rubble of yesterday
    He selects the large pieces of silvered glass
    And reshapes them with his long and graceful tongue,
    And presses them over the pictures into the frames,
    And into the recesses of our minds.

Alec Ekmekji was born in Aleppo, Syria, and has lived in Los Angeles
since 1966. He holds B.S and M.S degrees in Physics, and works in the
aerospace industry. His poetry and short stories have appeared in
Eghties and Aspora, and in the bilingual anthology of Armenian-American
poetry Birthmark. He has also contributed theater and music reviews to
the Armenian Observer. Currently, he is translating selected poems of
Zareh Melkonian into English.

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