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The hummingbird,
by Leonor Henríquez

Elizabeth and Mary Kirby Atril press
Elizabeth and Mary Kirby
Colibríes de cola dorada y corona azul, S. XIX

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not on the branch
in the air.
Not in the air
in the instant
the hummingbird”
Octavio Paz

      These little birds barely weigh between two and four grams.

They flap their wings between eighty and two hundred times per second.

Their feathers are shimmering, its beak long and thin to be able to reach the nectar of the flowers.

Venerated in pre-Hispanic cultures, Huitzil in Nahuatl, Quinde, in the American Andes.

I adopted it a long time ago as a messenger of my wishes and thoughts.

In these Nordic latitudes, it is not seen that often, however, they find me.

Recently it came in a beautiful card that my neighbor gave me, other times they have come to me as a sculpture, pendant or poem.

They carry iridescent moments suspended in time.

Garden of my childhood home, hummingbirds drinking rainwater from the Birds of Paradise; my mother, in front of her easel, painting her pale roses.

In my deep mourning, words of hope, an invitation to look at the past without insisting.

The hummingbird once got me out of a work situation, thanks to an anecdote that I heard once, and that I have incorporated into my personal life.

It was on a certain occasion that I had to make a difficult yet necessary work decision. When I finished the story, everyone exclaimed: Oh!

“A huge fire broke out in the forest. The trees burned as the gigantic flames passed by.

The little hummingbird approached the river, filled its beak with water, and flew towards the fire.

The forest animals stopped him saying:

– What are you doing hummingbird?

And hummingbird answered:

– I’m going to help put out the fire.

The animals laughed:

– But don’t you realize that it’s useless?

And the hummingbird answered without any doubt:

– But it’s the right thing to do.”

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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