The Path Through the Mountains

Musa Dagh, 2019 (Photo: Elise Youssoufian)

When you’re ready, keep it steady.
The road will rise to meet you.
The wind, it will surprise you,
When you’re ready.

How could any moment
Hold more beauty and torment
Than this tender weaving?
No, you’re not done grieving.
But nowhere—nowhere—
Is the grass greener.

When you’re lonely, keep it clean.
Any mess you need will find you.
Any mess you make will guide you.
The only thing left to pack
Is your surrender.
Total, absolute,
Like a moving sale.
No, not moving.
Going out of business.
Leaving nothing—nothing—
for the way back.

Are you ready?

Slip up, fall down, tumble into and through.
Yes, mountains and rivers may block your way,
But do not waver.
Don’t be confused.

The hardest climb is only an impasse
When you forget you’ve already been there.

Author’s Note:  This poem began nearly one year ago, while preparing for a return to Armenia and ancestral places within the bounds of Turkey. Systemic and viral pandemics brought a long pause and many pivots for us all, as seasons come and go…for some, permanently. May each night and day onward bend our world closer to beauty, growth and healing—a world in which peace and justice can co-exist, and the last words uttered are of creation.

Elise Youssoufian

Elise Youssoufian

A lifelong learner with a world-shaped heart, Elise Youssoufian is a US-born, Yerevan-based poet, artist, scholar and therapeutic musician committed to personal, ancestral and collective healing and liberation.
Elise Youssoufian

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