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The Literary Groong - 09/30/2006

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	Diana Der-Hovanessian 

	NO ONE TATTOOED MY SKIN


	or pulled off my face.
	No one ripped my belly.
	I was not taken to Istanbul
	for either harem
	or experimental hospital.
	No one nailed me on
	a cross saying, `Now let
	your Jesus save you.'
	No one made me servant
	or slave.

	No one had me crawl
	like a dog or grovel
	for a piece of bread.

	My soul did not wither
	or fold its wings choosing
	to drown in the Euphrates
	rather than bear another day.

	But, oh, my sisters, 
	now that ninety years
	have passed and no one
	has spoken for you 
	I spit out words you
	swallowed unsaid.


--
Diana Der-Hovanessian, New England born poet, was Fulbright professor
of American poetry in 1995, and 1999 at Yerevan State University.  She
was visiting poet in the Mass. schools for 18 years and has led poetry
and translating seminars at universities world wide. Author of 22
books of poetry and translations, her work has appeared in literary
periodicals including Poetry, American Scholar, Nation, Partisan, New
York Times, Harpers, etc.


Reprinted with permission  from Selected Poems, Diana Der-Hovanessian
Sheep Meadow Press, Riverdale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

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