Gente que Cuenta

by Leonor Henríquez

Carlotta Castelnovi Atril press e1703290183235
Carlotta Castelnovi, Italia
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      – Do you know who is dying? – my dad always asked us around this time.

– No, who? – we responded with exorbitant eyes.

– The year…

My dad always fooled us with his bad joke.

But yes, I think that 2023 has a few hours left to live.

I woke up with these thoughts today, for me a day when absences possess me.

My father, a doctor, but a poet nonetheless, on the night of December 31, made a toast by reciting a poem called “Drop of Tears” by Javier Santacruz. He raised his glass, and with a deep voice and deep expression he declaimed:

“This cup of wine for the living,
and this drop of tears for the dead.”

 Yes, they are those lost hugs, one in particular, that I miss so much at the end of the twelve bells.

But hugs, are also renewed, they flourish, and today is not a day for sadness.

It’s hug day.

I imagined for a moment that, for the planet, today is a unique day.

A day with a certain seismic activity, from the beginning to the end.

A tremor felt by the leaves, the petals of the flowers, the birds, by sensitive beings.

This, our world, so in need of union, compassion, solidarity, is a kinder place today, when in every time zone on the planet, hugs will break out at midnight.

A fleeting, but heartfelt and honest contact, tight, the best gift one can give and receive.

Today I want to thank my colleagues at Atril and our kind readers who join us every week. From my heart, my wish for you and your family is:

May the hugs multiply!

Happy New Year 2024!

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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