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Poem | 'Religion at Armenian school' by Melineh Yemenidjian

June 08, 2020


By Melineh Yemenidjian


Poem | 'Religion at Armenian school' by Melineh Yemenidjian

"Religion at Armenian school" is Melineh Yemenidjian's fourth poem published by h-pem.

Writer's name Melineh Yemenidjian


City/Country Los Angeles, Calif.
About the writer
  • A lifelong poet who is beginning to publish her work
  • Studied Liberal Studies at California State University, Long Beach
  • After an MFA in Creative Writing, she hopes to teach poetry at the university level and host retreats and workshops

Religion at Armenian school

Light filtered through stained glass,
casting shadows on Der Hayr’s bearded face-
his eyes flashed, turned to flint.

He jabbed a finger into the air
and warned that his holy dove 
spied at our window every night
and reported wrongdoings
directly to God.
Incense burned our nostrils
and monotone sermons
of Evil Satan, Enemy Turks
and Tricky Jews bored us.
Crammed on wooden pews
we played hand-games,
usually Down by the Banks
or Double-Double-This-This.
Der Hayr was scheduled
to teach our classroom every Thursday.
Once he made us color the Crucifix 
and chided us if we drew outside
of the lines.
Tempted to scribble
cerulean on Jesus’s face,
I feared God’s wrath
and neatly outlined
the cross in brown.


Read Yemenidjian's “Equ-I-pose,” “Lady Libertine,” and How to trap a butterfly.”

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