The Armenian Mother


Lawrence Darrell

The earthquake struck Armenia quickly
And spread its devastation swiftly;
From its innards the earth rumbled
Then its outer surface crumbled
And everything standing on it tumbled.

Shocked and stunned, the Armenians ran,
Fearful and tearful and shattered,
As the ground sputtered and shuddered-
The horror and terror in their voices
Echoing nature’s destructive noises.

The dead were silent, the wounded groaned,
Dazed men muttered and women moaned
Staggering and searching for those who were gone.
While underneath the concrete and the rubble
The living were encased in an earthen bubble.

Then the angels descended upon this desolation
And began their merciful rescue operation.
They toiled like beavers every day and night
Tunneling through the gloom and the light
To extricate people from their pitiful plight.

The clock ticked on and seven days went by
And on the eighth day, they heard a feeble cry
Of a plaintive child and a mother’s lullaby.
They drilled as if driven and clawed their way
Inching closer and closer as they hacked away.

They finally broke through the last pile
And found the mother cradling her child
Lying buried but alive in the debris of the site,
Her feeble body battered by her epic fight
To save her child from the grim reaper’s spite.

For eight days, the Armenian mother
Wasted but her faith never wavered
She sat still, seeking inner guidance
Waiting patiently for human assistance
And praying silently for their deliverance.

She knew she could endure her thirst and hunger
But her daughter could not and cried like thunder;
Then a voice within told her how to feed her
She cut her little finger and used it like a nipple
And the tot was soothed by the bloody trickle.

The Armenian mother was fighting and surviving
But she lost track of time and all sense of timing;
She heard sounds and saw men in her mind’s eye
Then the voice within bid her sing her lullaby
And stay in touch with her saviours nearby.

Everywhere was darkness but there also was a light
It was the beacon of her hope burning very bright.
She rocked her child as the noises drew nearer
And sang her lullaby as the voices grew clearer
Then a window opened and the world came to greet her.

Lawrence Darrell
(our friend, who passed away some years ago)