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WHAT IF by Diana Der-Hovanessian What if all the poets were rounded up and killed? What if all the priests were executed? What if all the men in the country were drafted and then shot in front of ditches they themselves had dug? What if the government said; In two days you must leave your home and belongings taking only enough for two days on the road? What if all the pretty girls were raped? What if small children were taken by families who wanted slaves or pets? What if everyone in your family was pushed into the Euphrates? What if you alone with an older girl made it to Baku? What if in Baku you met compatriots who had been there for centuries and there you grew? What if you lived until old age with your children and then again ten years ago men came and burned your home again? What if you were forced again to leave? What if you reached other Armenians in Karabagh? What if they were being bombed and maimed and blockaded? What if you were past ninety and everything that had happened to you was happening again and again the world did not believe you ? What if it were you and not me? -- Diana Der Hovanessian is a Fulbright professor of American literature at Yerevan State University in 1994 and 1999, she is author of 17 books and has published in American Scholar, Poetry, Harvard Review, Nation, Paris Review, New Republic, and her poetry is regularly published in the Christian Science Monitor. She has awards from the Columbia Translation Center, P.E.N., Writers Union of America, and the Writers Union of Armenia.