Saturday, February 02, 2013

Shahé Mankerian: Turkish Coffee with Mrs. Hovsepian

On my last visit, I decided
to wash my hands before joining
you at the coffee table.

In the bathroom bowl, the strainer
cupped a clump of white hair
and a morsel of bread.

I was tempted to reach
with my index and pick a souvenir.
Instead, from the brush on the counter,

I pulled a strand from a tangled
disarray of whiskers and placed it
in my wallet. Marguerite, I didn't know

what to make of the wet crumb,
the wafer. Your late husband
saw visions in the Syrian desert.

On bended knees, he drooled
on the sand and imagined
kneading the dirt into dough.

Shahé Mankerian, our winner for the adult category, is the Principal of the St. Gregory's A. & M. Hovsepian School, in Pasadena, CA. He tells us "Mrs. Marguerite Hovsepian (1915-2012) is the benefactor of Alfred & Marguerite Hovsepian School in Pasadena. She was the daughter of Ezra and Alice de Witz Schuknicht of New York. She was married to Alfred Hovsepian who was a genocide survivor. "

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