The Poetry of Mary K O'Melveny



This is the only place where I can relax and feel free, even if it’s only for a few hours,” Hadis Lessani Delijam said recently as she sat at a coffee shop, her hair uncovered, and chatted with two young men in Kabul, Afghanistan.  - The New York Times, May 25, 2019




who knew escape
could be simple
like this   my cup
steaming  hints of
cardamom spice
drops of honey
our round table
thin metal chairs
tremble as we
laugh  full throated

here in Kabul
laughter often
eludes   cloistered
behind headscarves
after all who smiles
freely when she
is camouflaged
I ask my friends
this question  as
we settle in

easier now
than in our youth
we talk of peace
how we prefer
noisy songs of
blackbirds   warblers
drongos  bluethroats
to drone whines
or sidewalk bombs

how we worry
Taliban elders
sitting at tables
in Doha with
will force us from
these safe spaces
whirling back to

here   coffee in
one hand    my nails
red as poppies
I look through love
notes posted on
the café wallboard
I belong to
no one   this fact
will fuel my
path to freedom




"COFFEE HOUSE" was published  

at The New Verse News blog site on May 29, 2019 




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