Agbannawag, panagbanatabat iti daya, panagtataraok dagiti manok.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

You always said, mother

(Ti-ing, tiing
Makapalukmeg pingping)

You always said, mother
When we have only salt
And a clump of rice to satiate our fears,
To humor our rebellious innards:
We will grow and grow
For we are the metaphor of the ground
The sayings scattered
On the blades of grass.

Look at the ricebirds
They will not worry.
The lilies of the valley,
Are we not a people of the craggy land
Have we not live through
Not in breaths but in gasps
Could we not live this time?
And with a drop of frying oil
You intoned our folk benediction
That it fattens the cheeks
It makes the face fuller
And the heart a little happier.

Your words spoken right
Were wrong. It was then
As it is now.
But we have no more
Round cheeks, mother,
We are a people without
A face, a people lost without a name.
We go far in search of the rice dream
The salted aroma of living
The oil that will build our face again.

You were wrong, mother
We will not always be children.
We have grown old
Searching for a round face
On our painful straying.


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  • At 3:55 AM, Blogger ariel said…

    Yes, we are a people without a face b/c we are always trying to save ours--our face. The political act of doing so is what consumes us and (il)logically we resist moving on to something grander like gazing at, with boldness and daring, the face of poverty. Whoa! Joel, go on! Ngem kunami idiay Laoag: "Asin, asin, makalulukmeg iti pingping!"


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