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MY PEOPLE LEAVE THIS LAND by Yelena Mkhitaryan My people leave this land In search of a better life, They leave, forsaking The places they were born and lived, The schools and their childish dreams, The friends they played with as kids And later discussed serious things. They leave, cutting the roots that Tie them to the land where their ancestors And the greatest of the Armenians lived They leave because the times are hard, Because those in charge aren't able To provide and secure their lives. They go with their families and even clans, Leaving behind only the feeble and meek, Who are unable or unwilling to endure The shame and fuss of that unworthy enterprise. They go where they can foresee A spark of hope and chance. They go like blind men, with no tongue, Knocking at the door of the country, Deaf to their whimpering cries. Miserable and downcast, They trod along the unknown roads and paths, Like herds of men with no names or address, Sometimes kept like animals on a reserve. What a disgrace for the nation, So dignified and wise! But I don't blame them for that. Who can deprive them of the right to survive, To procure a decent living for their sons? God has given them a life, It is in His power to take it back! Still I am sad. I know some leave with pangs, It is difficult for them to part. This I can understand: They will miss the majestic sights Of Ararat and Aragats, The austere looks of the mountains in the far, The humble crosses over the temples Of Aghpat and Geghard and The emerald waters of Lake Sevan, The streets of Yerevan permeated with visions Of Charents, Isahakyan and Nersessyan, Walking in the streets and parks Or having a drink in those Drafty corners under the arch. They leave and this fills My heart with endless grief. Yet I hope they will come back, For the land of Armenia shall withstand All calamities and hardships of life (History has taught us that), New conditions shall reign in the land, People shall have a better chance. I am certain they will be back, For even dead Armenians come back, Like Andranik, Saroyan and others have come To rest under the Armenian sky. Their souls are calmed at last, Warmed in the rays of Martiros Saryan's sun, Soothed by the magic music of Komitas and Fascinating sound of the dooduk by Jivan Gasparyan. Yes, they will come back, I am more than sure of that, For where else they can find things So piercingly dear to the Armenian heart! -- Yelena Mkhitaryan was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. After graduating from secondary school in Tbilisi she came to Yerevan where she was admitted to the English Department of the Yerevan State University. At present she is professor of General Linguistics and Theoretical English Grammar at Yerevan State University. She is the author of a number of English textbooks and manuals for university students and numerous articles on linguistics, English grammar in particular. Writing poems has become a kind of inspiration for her of late, but she has not published any of her writings yet.