Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rachel Megan Maclean: On the Mount

someday we will climb Mount Ararat and the
remains of Noah's skiff will splinter into our
thumbs and the pads of our fingertips, our
knees will be rubbed red raw by her crags, but
after a week we will sit on her summit Masis and with
throbbing hands and patellae, we will weep over the
clip-winged sparrows and the village of Van where our family
once fashioned jewelry on an estate that lives in
the dreams that were only our grandmother's
faintest and fondest of memories

Mama was only thirteen when the slaughter
began, she sat on the granite wall with a beautiful
box, but her family couldn't bring everything, they had to
leave things behind for the terror to take: the goats
and the uncles and the bodies not yet things they could
call corpses riddled with hatred, stuffed with hearts still
clenched in their fists in their fear in their crumpling
rib cages, still wronged, everything was wrong...

Armenian children are not apples in their mother's
eyes-- we are yellow-orange apricots dried by the
sun and cradled in the palms of those who cradled
us in their tender, weeping wombs; I am my
mother's apricot, and my wrinkles crinkle beneath my
skin because the children of a genocide are from
their first scream, old, and Mom, you and I are remnants
of a place and time raped but we have never allowed
ourselves to die because between the eyes, the muzzle
of a gun is just a molehill and

when we climb Ararat, sweet mother of our grandmothers, we
will watch time tunnel back to Siran and Keghanoush
drawing water and grinning in the sun, and sitting on her
peak Masis, we will weep over the sparrows and the village and
the apricots wrinkled in the dirt, lost from their mother's
palms and spotted from the moisture of our tears:
              someday we won't be the only ones who remember.

Rachel Megan Maclean, the winner for the student category is from Northside High School, Roanoke, VA.
She is 17 years old and studies with Mrs. Sally McFall

Honourable mentions to:
Julien Ghouliance 7th grade
Shant Dikran, and Hovig Manoyan, both 6th grade.
St. Gregory Hovsepian School, Pasadena, CA

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