Hedy Habra – Early Autumn

Habra LE P&W 2 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two Nov-Dec 2023.

Early Autumn, poems by Hedy Habra.

Early Autumn

After a heavy rain, I drink amber from drooping leaves
heavy with dew, ambrosia from a gold-capped maple leaf
curled into a precious artifact whispering ancient stories
from each delineated vein arising from curved midribs.

I step over fallen petals, sepals still hanging on their stems.
A variegated palette covers the gravel path. Amid pallid
shades, burgundy reminds me of my favorite Rioja newly
opened bottle left breathing on the kitchen counter.

My tastebuds guide me inside to fill my glass with the wine’s
thick robe while meat pies exhale an enticing pomegranate
flavor asking to be released from the oven. I set the table
and scatter my harvest of colors around the placemats.

I Can Still See That Restless Girl On A January Afternoon

When my mother agreed to celebrate
my eleventh birthday, I invited 
my classmates right away 
in fear she’d change her mind.

She was never keen on parties, 
and my dad had died 
a couple of years earlier
around that same time.

I ran to the Arcades to buy mini brioche
buns and fluffy anis seed cookies 
from Kharinos, 
our favorite Greek bakery. 

I can still see myself filling 
buttered slits with slices of ham and cheese.

Mom made her signature chocolate
ice cream, so creamy 
and dense it could be 
cut with a knife. 

She set a strawberry salad 
as a centerpiece, an apricot 
Pasta Frolla lattice pie 
and a chocolate walnut cake.

I remember circling and circling 
around the display.

Only my friend Laila showed up
that afternoon. 

© Hedy Habra

Hedy Habra is a poet, artist, and essayist. She has authored four poetry collections, most recently, Or Did You Ever See The Other Side? (Press 53 2023). The Taste of the Earth, winner of the Silver Nautilus Book Award and Honorable Mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Tea in Heliopolis won the Best Book Award and Under Brushstrokes was a finalist for the International Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Her book of criticism is Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa. A twenty one-time-nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Award, her multilingual work appears in numerous journals and anthologies. https://www.hedyhabra.com/

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