The Hope in Tea

Omar Imady
Apr 19, 2023
Photo by Prchi Palwe on Unsplash

Damascene Fridays

still come back to me.

How they would begin –

the scent of bread,

men waiting in white robes,

children discovering the sun,

the long rides

to families and mosques,

navigating through sermons

and chilled watermelons.

The afternoon pull –

to couches and beds,

my father reciting the Cave,

my eyes flooded

with images of Alexander.

And before sunset –

my quiet escape

to the Murcian shrine

where we would meet.

Your voice,

Your words,

the folds of white

that circled your head.

Driving you back –

your insistence that I come in for tea,

a weekly ritual

that ended with my question.

A question

as recurrent as Damascus,

as sudden as Damascus:


is there still hope in this tree?

Your smile would arrive first.


now, drink your tea.



Omar Imady

Poet / Novelist / Historian / Syrian / American / Exile / Javaphile / Gastronome / Aerophobe