Only the war

(Photo provided by the author, Watertown, 2020)

I spent two hours
Buffing away a century and a fifth
Of corrosion from a doorknob,
To get my mind
Off the madness around me–
So far, yet so close–
While flipping channels on the screen
Between pictures of the war of my people
And the election between two dinosaurs;
While chatting with friends
About the war
And the two dinosaurs;
While pretending to be optimistic
About the war
And the outcome between the two dinosaurs;
While thinking about the war
And the…
Only the war.
Only the war.

Before I know it
Generations of grime are lost forever
And I am looking into a ball of shine.

I wish I had snapped a “before”
On my phone,
Which is overworked
And drained as of late.

This thing in my hand
Was once black and green.
Black and green.
Green and black.
Կանաչ ու սեւ.

The green battledresses of our heroes;
The black-clad mothers full of grief.

Only the war.

Green and black.
Black and green.
Կանաչ ու սեւ.
Կանաչ ու սեւ.
Սեւ ու կանաչ.

Եւ ոսկի կը հագնեն սեւ օրերն հայոց…

#ՂարաբաղԻմԱղբիւրԵսԴու #ԲաշխեմԿեանքսՔեզԻմԱրցախ

Rupen Khajag

Rupen Khajag

Rupen Khajag is a Canadian-Armenian poet. Some of his short poems can be read at the Armenian Poetry Project.


  1. Your poem is very moving. Reading it has left me thinking of the ways we carry past events into our daily lives, and how we are haunted by it.

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