FINDING MY WAY TO MY OLD HOUSE
I’m wandering aimlessly through Cairo’s downtown avenues. I end up
finding my way to the tramway station leading to Heliopolis. It’s night
when we reach the arcades bathed in streetlights where we used to shop
and stroll with friends. Past Midan Ismailia, the next stop is Midan Saphir,
my final destination. Only a few blocks away, our house still stands on 12,
Rushdy Street, with its shining brass plaque on the front arch’s stone pillar.
Why come here since we’ve all left for other continents over half a century
ago? Has it been twenty years now since mom died? Yet she still inhabits
my dreams and I long to see her welcoming me back. I enter the hallway
as a ghost visiting an empty tomb once filled with memory’s faint echoes.
The same Queen Ann carved furniture of the entry hall welcomes me with
its worn out pink velvet upholstery. How come I still remember our phone
Hedy Habra is a poet, artist and essayist. She has authored three poetry collections, most recently, The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019), Winner of the Silver Nautilus Book Award, Honorable Mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and Finalist for the Best Book Award. Tea in Heliopolis won the Best Book Award and Under Brushstrokes was finalist for the Best Book Award and the International Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. A seventeen-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/