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SONG OF THE SHEPHERDS by Knarik O. Meneshian Up Climbs the shepherd With his flock. "Hey, hey!" he calls, Tapping his stick on soil and rock Up The mountain Aragats. Higher, A shepherdess In a billowy dress With hair tucked under her scarf Sings as she stirs a pot Hanging above flickering flames Near a canvas tent And strips of wool dripping, drying on a rope In the summer wind Sweeping across the mountain, Through rocky fields, green pastures, and alpine flower meadows Of blue and white and pink and yellow. "Hey, hey!" calls the shepherd to his flock As they ascend higher still. The shepherdess hums, Offering him water, cheese and bread, And brushwood To the flames Dancing a waning dance. The shepherd whistles a tune And the shepherdess sings the words. Their song carried by the wind like wishes Towards the mountain top Where cold winds swirl Past black, jagged crevices To dance on cliffs, In summer snow fields Near Kari Lake, With its blueness shimmering in the sunlight And silver ripples Stroking the shore. An old woman in a babushka stirs a pot Suspended above roaring flames. Steam rises, Filling the crisp mountain air with the warmth of tradition. "Would you like a bowl of Khash?" she asks, Here on this mountain Where just above One can almost touch the tips of Aragats, Almost tug at the clouds, Almost touch the sky-- Where one can hear The song of the shepherds. -- Knarik O. Meneshian was born in Austria. Her father was Armenian from Armenia and her mother was Austrian from Austria. 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.