The Old Woman Of Yerevan

The Old Woman Of Yerevan

I stood in the kitchen,
up early to catch my plane,
to fly from Armenia,
back to England again.
It was mild for November,
no sign of snow or rain.

The silence was broken,
I heard a noise, far below,
a steady stroke on hard ground,
a slow scrape, to and fro.
Puzzled, I took a step,
looked down, out the window.

I saw an old woman,
sweeping dry leaves in a heap,
in the glow of a street lamp,
with her broom worked to keep
her city of Yerevan
neat while it was in sleep.

Her wrinkled face was calm,
she did not know she was seen.
She had made it her chore
to keep her city clean.
I saw the strength in her stoop,
that her mood was serene.

Sometimes when I am still
and silent in my room,
I see the old woman of Yerevan,
sweeping streets with her broom.

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