Twilight by Roupen Sevag


imgresThe sun has set. The final rays of light stretch out from the edge of the clouds. The mountaintops remain snow covered.

And I walk.

The passers-by, the workers, their carts, their horses…I walk, lost amongst the crowd. The sadness within me grows heavier each day. The warmth of my heart has frosted over. I walk – broken, lost. The dying gleams of light – they torture me.

And so, another day has come to an end. And I walk; I walk on unfamiliar lands, to an unfamiliar sunset.

The wide sidewalk cries out beneath my feet. The tall buildings breathe a cold indifference down my neck. Men pass me by – they lack the warmth of generations past. And the youth do not smile like my brethren back home.

Old pictures, hazy visions, my sweet memories – why do they torture me so?

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I start to drift away – to a far away village. Along the edge of a field – the friendly path below my feet. I walk to my family home, on the far edge of the sleepy road that cuts through the farm.

The cobblestone path that witnessed you grow from toddler to grown man, that saw your grandparents grow. The mossy, friendly smile shines down from the homestead. And to think of this nest – that belongs to you, your brothers, your sisters, your parents. This heavenly home that, on that wretched day, you decided to abandon for unfamiliar skies under an unfamiliar roof.

And think back to your childhood – when the concepts of struggle, of exhaustion, and of suffering had no meaning and you were happy. Think back to the childhood memories, now long gone.

The aspirations of my dreams, these dead hopes – why must you plague my every step?

The sun has set, and I want to walk.

Walk, wayward soul.

You left your loved ones behind; they mourn your absence. The whisper of the happiness that you left behind, it calls out for you. Turn your back on your teary-eyed loved ones. Don’t look back. Just walk on.

Walk on to new struggles, a new hopelessness. Walk along the pathetic path of a pointless life. Walk; walk…as the sun sets again and again and until the sun sets no more.

They put a heart in your chest and a brain in your skull. “Live,” they said. “You are going to die.”

To feel pain, to breathe pain, to suffer and to walk until you die.

The sun has set, and I walk on.

Walk – that’s all that I can do…

Roupen Sevag

(Roupen Sevag [Dr. Roupen Chilingirian] was born in Silivri on February 15, 1885. He completed medical school in Lausanne, Switzerland. He always had a bent for literature and after the massacres in Cilicia in 1910, he published Garmir Kirku [The Red Book]. His great poem, “Verchin Hayeru,” seems like a prophesy of final Armenian martyrdom. He and his German wife settled in Constantinople in 1914, to continue his work as a doctor and to continue writing. It was when he was serving as a doctor in the Makrikez Dividsion of his army that he was separately deported to Chankiri.)

Information and poem courtesy of Teotig: A Biography, by Rita Soulahian Kuyumjian

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