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SON OF ARMENIA By Knarik O. Meneshian Past the mountain Aragats, Beyond fields of cabbage and potatoes, The mooing of cows, and the call of roosters, Amidst rocks and stones and dusty roads, Past twisted scraps of metal and concrete chunks Heaped on a winding path Near rushing water, An ancient church - Marmashen, Blackened with candle smoke and time, Stands crumbling In the coolness of moss And tall grass Bowing in the wind near royal tombstones. The ancient church Stands vigil still To the occasional prayers Murmured On bended knees As candles burn And coins are dropped into a plate. At times, as in the old days, Prayers are released to Heaven On the wings of doves. And in the nearby city - Gyumri, On a street Lined with domeeks Molded and rusted long ago, But still called home, A man is dead. No candles burn for him. No prayers are said, Not even a tear. Ignored by passersby In life as in death, The man, A son of Armenia, In tattered clothes, Lies dead, Face down On a littered, crumbling sidewalk, With only the weeds at his side. Doves cry from above. + To those Sons and Daughters of Armenia who are seen merely as the `Bumzher' and `Homlessner' `The Bums and the Homeless.' -- Knarik Meneshian was born in Austria. Her father was an Armenian from Meghree, Armenia, and her mother was an Austrian from Austria. She is married and is a writer and teacher. In 1991, she taught English in the village of Jrashen, (Spitak region), Armenia for several months. In 2002-2003, she and her husband, as volunteers for one year, taught English and Computers in Gyumri as well as in Tsaghgadzor, Armenia. Her works have been published in various Armenian and non-Armenian publications, with the majority of them in "The Armenian Weekly." Currently, "The Armenian Weekly" has been publishing her pieces about Gyumri and life in Armenia. She has authored a book of poems titled Reflections and translated from the Armenian to English the book Musa Dagh - The Banishment of Zeitoun and Suedia's Revolt by Reverend D. Antreassian. Knarik lives with her family in Glenview, Illinois.