Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lory Bedikian: Armenian Descendant as American Poet

On any road trip, no coastal fog rolling in
brings me the sea gull or sandpiper shifting

from water to sky, but the common Armenian
crane who has trekked acoss the Atlantic,

breaking through California clouds,
haunting the laurels, the eucalyptus,

a message somewhere in its beak.
Underneath any riff strummed, streaked

across midwestern guitars, I can hear
the duduk hounding me with its drone

of apricot wood, piping a monotone
dirge, driven like the rolling tumbleweed.

In New Mexico, each flute player’s
eye turns into the pomegranate seed,

so I head to New England only to find
the sediment of riverbeds bending

into Gorky’s brush strokes. Strange
to think I can’t get away from them,

the ancestral shapes floating west
from Ellis Island, crosses tattooed

on their forearms, worry beads
pebbled in their grip. Even as I watch

the world series, I see a fly ball
turning back into the crane.

Copyright Lory Bedikian

This poem has appeared in the University of Oregon's Creative Writing Program Summer 2004 issue as is used here by kind permission.

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