Sunday, December 23, 2007

Diana Der-Hovanessian: Not Meeting Mark Gavoor

On the dock at Camp Hayastan
the summer I had gone to teach
the English course on Armenian
poets, I saw you sprawled
on the gray wooden pier. It was
noon and hot. I sighed at
the sight of so many water lilies
blanketing the skin of Uncus Pond.
"You can't pick them. They are
protected," you warned.
Unlike us, I thought. Anyone
who picks these lilies drowns.

But no need to worry. I am not
one who picks anything. Unfortunately
things pick me.

Suddenly you leaped up saying
"Oh, I know you. I hope
you will have a chance to look
at my poems. My name is Mark."

You moved like all the summer
boys I had known in my youth.
You spoke with the voice of all
the mountain poets I had never
heard in our own tongue.

You smiled with the eyes of the son
I would never have. "Mark?
Mark Gavoor?"

"No," you answered and faded into
the noon light. The lilies shrivelled.
Ice formed on Uncus Pond.

Men from Franklin in rough coats cut
it into blocks to pack into straw
on sleighs. Uncus Indians peered
through the trees.

You and I left to cross two continents.
I to say old poems, you to cut them
into new shapes.

Copyright Aspora Press. This poem has appeared in Aspora, volume 1, No 2, Spring 1994.

1 comment:

Mark Gavoor said...

Your Father and my Grandfather were friends as we are now. Would we have known each other were we still living in Kharpert? Would we be writing or farming or both?

Our poems to each other are posted here. I like that.

Thanks Lola.

Thank you Diana.