Not Armenian, just human


Not my memories,

not of this particular barbarity,

no visceral visions of this blood-letting,

these burnings and butchery.

I have no recall of screams of terror

in a tongue I do not know,

no stories told with bitten and chewed words,

the silences between filled with weeping.

Not these.

But scratch a little,

just below the surface of our well-being,

and they are there,

the sounds and the tastes of uniformed massacres

or silent deaths in hovels unremembered.

For some, the pain is overlaid

with too many layers of smug triumphalism

or the half-felt shame of the perpetrator.

Deep down the grief is the same,

graven in the same stone,

dug from the same earth,

blood, bone and marrow in the same mould,

what binds us all together with guts of joy and sorrow.

It is called humanity.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

18 thoughts on “Not Armenian, just human”

    1. I don’t see what’s so difficult, but then I’m not a power-crazed leader or a small person with a grievance, a big gun and carte blanche to do whatever I like with it.

  1. This story has been repeated throughout history. I will never understand how a human being can engage in such savagery. Beautifully written, your poem highlights the ugliest side of humanity.

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