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Three gnomes,
by Leonor Henríquez

duendes atril press
“November, the month of my melancholies…”

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      They are plump and big-nosed, they wear striped suits and pointy hats. Their beards are white and soft.

I named them Pepe, Paco, and Luis. They are three gnomes that I knitted for my grandchildren.

This boring story would end here if it weren’t for what happened next.

The day after I finished my project, it seemed to me that the little sprites were not where I had left them the night before.

I could have sworn I had put them on top of the fireplace, and I found them on the window canopy.

Considering that memory loss is the first of three signs of aging, I forgot the other two (a joke that I never forget to repeat), I thought that I was confused.

Even stranger was the fact that, when I got closer, they seemed they were better finished, without the “perfect imperfections” that characterize my crafts. I thought that, as always, I was underestimating myself and perhaps I was getting better at knitting.

In short, it seemed like just another ordinary day, if it weren’t for the fact that November, gelid and stealthy, ambushed my soul, announcing another anniversary of my love’s departure to heaven.

November, the month of my melancholies. Those that I have learned to honor, but, as the poet Miguel Hernández described, “so much pain gathers in my chest…that even my breath hurts.”

That daunting night, as not to challenge my memory, or the lack of it, I took Pepe, Paco, and Luis to my bedroom.

November dawned.

To my relief, the pixies were exactly where I had left them the night before. I greeted them and to my surprise, they responded to me in their peculiar language made of sun, moon, and stars.

“You are not alone. You are seen. You are loved,” they said.

The strangest thing about this story is that I believed them.

The woven gnomes have already reached the hands of their adorable owners, but I think the others, the real ones, stayed here, in my house, running from one place to another, delivering their cosmic messages, making mischief.

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570
Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Ingeniero Civil de profesión
(UCAB 1985).
Escritora y aprendiz de poeta por vocación.
De su paso por la ingeniería surgieron sus Cuentos de Oficina (1997), otra manera de ver al mundo corporativo. Entre sus últimas publicaciones se incluyen sus reflexiones sobre el duelo, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( y “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021), una alegoría de la vida en el vientre materno. (
Hoy en día comparte sus “meditaciones impulsivas” desde Calgary, Canadá, ciudad donde reside.
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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