Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Serena Marguerite Hajjar: My Նէնէ

black սուրճ, fresh off the stove,
            sitting in tiny white ceramic cups,
their flowery designs more delicate, more fragile
than the china itself.
women sitting cross-legged on the weary green couch,
their bubbling chatter filling the room with gusto.
scenes from a Turkish soap opera
flickering endlessly on the screen,
keeping them company, feeding their gossip.
Նայիր, Սիրինա, այս աղջիկը քեզի կը նմանի
ձեռագործ laying under the glass of tables everywhere;
            more lace resting on her lap,
            silently waiting to be weaved
            by her seasoned fingers
into impossible patterns of diamonds and flowers.
thin, golden glasses balancing on the tip of her nose,
            the day’s edition of L’Orient le Jour sprawled before her,
            eyes scanning for the latest happenings.
պլղուր and բադադես, my favorite duet,
            simmering quietly in the tired kitchen,
            leftover manaeesh from this morning
            still exhaling its zesty aroma.

Հայտէ, Նէնէ-ին համար բան մը նուաքէ
loose, ivory keys rattling under my fingers,
            sighing a familiar -
if slightly off-key - melody,
perhaps an elegy by Babajanian,
maybe a dance by Khachaturian,
and she, harmonizing and humming along.  
a dollop of Armenian, a dash of broken French,
            a sprinkling of Arabic,
            a hint of Turkish,
            mixing with her unique intonation,
forging her personal dialect,
the voice of love,
            the voice of my Նէնէ.

Serena Marguerite Hajjar, our winner in the teen-ager category, lives in Lexington MA and attends Lexington High School

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