Friday, May 09, 2008

Sean Depoian Casey: furniture and refuge

he had called
Rose at the church -- said he
had some extra furniture and

since his mother and grandmother died
and she said
a family halfway down
needed some

Armenians from Russia
in a complex across the
laundromat -- very small mother
and tall son
stood in front of the building
to greet us

My father said something to
the man -- he didn't understand
too well
but took the armchair from him
and put it on his shoulder

we went inside the brick
building -- third floor
furniture up and
in the room -- like grandma would have
a table with crackers dried fruit
and a bowl of dried chickpeas which
dissolve once crushed
and taste sparked memories
brought me back to the

where at dawn
she'd wake and
cook dinner in her
slippers with backs folded
down and a glass of sour tahn on the table
dad said it was an
acquired taste but

now back in Lowell
half mile from the dump
sitting on chairs without
cushions inside brick
walls with a man and
mother who couldn't
speak English

too well
and who escaped
and need furniture
or if they stayed

shelled at and
killed back when
Enver and Talaat
and when
village to village
the people
collected -- those who
didn't escape

and into the desert
marched in circles until --
tortured short burnt raped stripped
-- death granted them asylum.

Sean Depoian Casey
This poem has appeared in ASPORA, Volume II, 1995. A different version of this poem has appeared in Ararat.

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