For Ashot the shepherd who lost all but a lamb of his flock

to rocket fire, let us pray


For the parishioners of Ghazanchetsots who now cannot bend their knees

to the lime-stone floor,

(who) now can only imagine the trim of light through the stained glass

and the echoing chants, let us pray


For Vache of Taghavert, whose town was split in two,

(who) hears gunshots on his walk to school and at recess

and before he lays his head to rest for the night, let us pray


For Armen and Nane of Hadrut, who’ll never step into

the orchard they planted their first apricot tree in together,

placed lavash over the shoulders and danced Kochari,

heard their daughter cry for the first time, let us pray


For Ani of Goris, who wears her husband’s bravery medal,

(who) has a mural of him hanging over the kitchen table,

whose 5 children have photos from his phone recovered from the morgue,

let us pray


For Garen and Hripsime of Yerevan, who outlived their youngest child, Njde,

whose flesh still isn’t recovered from his charge up the hill in Shushi,

145 pounds of will he carried in Varanda and Drakhtik, let us pray


For Mari of Stepanakert, whose oldest daughter, Anahit,

wouldn’t leave the house she built with her brothers in Togh, let us pray


For Vartan, whose grapevines may not know his hands for another harvest,

let us pray

photo by, Narek Aleksanyan
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