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SOUVENIR By Helene Pilibosian Did you bring me a handful of soil from the homeland, forgetting that it's earth from the same planet as the American, not Venus nor Mars nor Saturn but only dark soil with its own minerals-- the old kings and queens still meting out memories like party favors, the sisters directing the roundness of eternal bread, the brothers coaxing the seeds with unlearned plow and buffalo, the merchants mingling with magnificent ships? Did you bring me a hint of the breeze that teased your hair as no other breeze would dare or the stares of the mountain paths the Armenian aura outlined with such clarity? Did you bring me that little bit of love that boiled down from cooking over the stove of history in the clay pot of living? Did you bring me the day that sports debates of employment and whistle-wails of work or the night which highlights an owl's or cat's eyes prowling as animal rights, their definition of the word influenced by the heard, the seen, the void, the tried? The amber necklace you brought reveals these passions congealed. Copyright 2004 Helene Pilibosian -- Helene Pilibosian is the author of two collections of poetry: Carvings From an Heirloom and At Quarter Past Reality (a prizewinner) and has many poems published in American literary journals such as the North American Review, Willow Review and The Cape Rock. She is the owner of Ohan Press whose bilingual website is at http://home.comcast.net/~hsarkiss