Boghos Artinian


The Night Was Theirs - Poem by Boghos Artinian

It was by chance—
circumstances being favorable-
that the dogs had gained freedom
and were roaming the streets.
By an unwritten convention
the night was theirs.
Dogs do not cherish freedom,
yet they would not mind tasting it
when masters are lacking.
Free dogs enjoy freedom;
they bark it loud and clear
far into the night.
Other dogs joining the chorus
bark freedom loud and clear
far into the night.
Said a minister who had lost sleep
awakened by the barks of freedom:
'Free dogs are stray dogs!
Stray dogs are rabid! '
Presently the speaker announced
on the national television:
'Finally, the problem of rabid dogs
roaming the streets of the capital
has taken a happy turn.
The decision has been taken
by the ministers
to clear the streets of stray dogs.
Hence as of midnight tonight

the police will start shooting all stray dogs.
Do not be alarmed by the gunfire!
That's all for tonight,
thank you for watching.
Good night! '


Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is exactly what happened in my country, about twenty years ago, during the civil war

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2014

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 29, 2014


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