My Yorghani

Mary Armenouhi Eshilian surrounded by her grandchildren, Christmas 1990

Holding a long wooden dowel in her hand
A learned tradition from her former land        

She batted and fluffed until it was full
the cushiony and treasured pure lambswool        

With heavy needle and weighty thread
she stitched long X’s across the spread           

My hands wrapped around honey chai in a mug
I watched cross-legged on the Oriental rug;         

its secret symbols and warm colored hues      
crimson reds, olive greens and lapis blues       

The dobrag resting between two floral sheets     
my grandmother’s yorghan was nearly complete

She measured and folded and hemmed all four sides  
carefully looping thread in short, even strides     

As her sweet singing voice surrounded the room    
I closed my eyes and listened to a hymnal tune       

She scooped up the quilt, so soft and downy    
A piece of her past she handed to me         

That night, curled inside of my warm yorghan    
I dreamed of her once peaceful Hayastan         

As an old woman now I think of my mommy      
with a warm, loving heart for my sweet yorghani 

Terri Eshilian
Terri Eshilian received her Bachelor of Science and Masters degree in Communicative Disorders from USC. For many years, she served as consultant and diagnostician for local schools. She taught students at San Diego State University as well as community colleges. She authored a children’s book titled “Tell Me about Armenia," which is designed for parents (and grandparents) to read to their children about the proud heritage of Armenians. Terri lives with her husband of 46 years, George Fleming, in San Diego, California. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Terri Eshilian

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  1. Sweet memories in a very dear tribute to our loving ‘mommies’ and aunties! Beautiful words that paint a picture in our hearts.

  2. Rhymefull, Beautiful, Historical poem,
    reminded us of our childhoodness (childhood Days) …
    Not easy to find rhyming words in the English dictionary …
    Your hearty feelings created all…
    Congrats Terri

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