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AS THE EARTH FLOWED RED By Knarik O. Meneshian The old woman Takouhi Watches the fly Climb up the window screen. She blinks As wind blows strands Of white hair across her face. Pressing her crooked finger Against the screen, She points To pink roses spotted brown, Half-shriveled tomato plants Sprawled on the ground. And she remembers... Her mother and father Dead in the fields, Her baby brother Tossed in the river, And her big sister Dragged away by men - Long ago, When the heavens screamed As the earth flowed red On land where her people lived. Takouhi, called Queenie On this new land that's been so good to her, Looks at her rough, knobby hands, And she remembers... When they were soft and plump As she stroked her mother's face - and they smiled, As she touched her father's prickly chin - and they grinned, As she held her sister's hand - and they sang, As she played with her brother - and they laughed, The day before The heavens screamed As the earth flowed red On land where her people lived. Takouhi blinks And wipes away tears As she remembers... Her people - the Armenians, The day The earth flowed red. April 24, 1915 In memory of one and one-half million Armenian men, women, and children - three-quarters of the Armenian Nation - who perished at the hands of the Turkish government in 1915 in Turkish-occupied Armenia. -- Knarik O. Meneshian was born in Austria. Her father was Armenian from Armenia, and her mother, Austrian from Austria. She is a writer and teacher. She is married and lives in Glenview, Illinois with her family. In 1991, Knarik taught English in the village of Jrashen (Spitak Region), Armenia. In 2002-2003, she and her husband lived in Armenia for a year as volunteers and taught English and Computers in Gyumri and Tsaghgadzor. Her works have been published in American and Armenian publications.