Friday, June 20, 2008

Alan Whitehorn: North Avenue

In a stone cutter's efficiency,
the new North Avenue slices through historic old neighbourhoods.
In place of old three-story buildings,
new ten storey high-rises dominate,
with their stunning architecture
and sky-high prices.
Already, fashionable boutiques and trendy bars
have opened
on the ground floor.
Yet, to my surprise,
scores of families seemed to mill about.
I wondered:
'What is so fascinating about this newly completed block?',
Day after day, at about the same time,
early in the evening,
without fail,
crowds of families appeared.
It is true that the traffic-free boulevard provides safe relief
from the frighteningly swift cars.
Still, it seemed a pre-occupation with an avenue
and new shops
that I could not fully comprehend.

But tonight, I finally understand.
I was told by a politics student
that silent protesters gather on this boulevard
to show their unwillingness to accept the presidential election results.

To my amazement,
I had been amidst a protest,
and did not even know it!

What kind of political science professor am I?
It seems I need to have my prescription glasses checked.
I also need to listen to the students more.

Alan Whitehorn, May 2008, Yerevan

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