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FAR-AWAY SKY By Knarik O. Meneshian We climbed the hill, My brother and I, We climbed until we reached the top. In the distance stood the mountains called Verdugo. The California sky was bright, And the air was crisp As the March winds stirred On this first day of spring. Despite the winds, It was peaceful here, Among the rows and rows Of old and new Level-with-the-ground headstones. In the distance, Lay red flowers - another headstone to be placed. We walked, my brother and I, Until we came to the place Father and Mother were laid to rest. We looked up at the sky - their far-away sky, The rambling, green vastness, flowers, and trees, Down at their embossed names And the words describing Who they were? Husband, Father, Grandfather. Wife, Mother, Grandmother. But they were so much more? He, the man from the Mountains of Armenia, the Land of Ararat, She, the woman from the Alps of Austria, the Land of Edelweiss, Both surviving horrors... We kneeled, my brother and I, And lit a dish of frankincense. As the smoke rose, Filling the air with its ancient, sweet scent, In the language of our father, We began "Hayr Mer - Our Father" Here they were? Together, resting forever Under the California sky, Among countless others Who, too, had come to make these mountains? Mountains of America? Their home. -- Knarik O. Meneshian was born in Austria. Her father was Armenian from Armenia and her mother was 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 various works have been published in American and Armenian publications. She has authored a book of poems titled Reflections, and translated from Armenian to English Reverend D. Antreassian's book titled The Banishment of Zeitoun and Suedia's Revolt. Knarik's articles on life in Armenia are currently being published in `The Armenian Weekly.'