Translated from the Armenian by Torontohye
Today, from my soul’s garden deep,
I gather flowers, soft and sweet,
To grace my mother’s resting place,
With sacred scent and gentle grace.
Today, the bright sky of my soul
Is full of clouds, majestic and whole,
Within my heart, a turmoil deep,
Fear and hopelessness, relentlessly creep.
With slow steps, I approach the grave
Where my dear mother rests, eternal enclave,
Never beholding the sun’s warm embrace,
Silent witness, pity filling the space.
I clasp the stone with hands that shake,
My tears flow freely, a sorrowful lake,
For hours I weep, forlorn, sorrowful,
Nourishing the tree atop the grave eternal.
From deep within, a heartfelt cry,
A bitter voice of pain, a burning sigh,
Cursing my luck with a darkened spell,
Orphaned, branded in this wretched hell.
Then to the grave, my words flow
With utter love and an eager glow,
Mother dear, tender and true,
I yearn for you, for moments we once knew.
The original poem, Կարօտ մայրական, was published in Krikor Hotoyan’s collection of poems entitled Սիրտը ափին մէջ, published in Toronto in 1987. The collection is dedicated to the memory of the poet’s mother, Mariam Hotoyan.