Travelers

(October is Filipino American History month)

11

The fly spins
madly in its net of silk.
The frogs croak in the shallows.
When fog lifts, the fields reveal
their stenciled grids
as if they’d never
been co-opted.

12

What are you
writing again, there
by the window, there
like the rain?

13

This—

How the high school math teacher was good enough
to wash dishes in a restaurant kitchen,
but not to draw up lesson plans—

How the surgeon who’d practiced for twenty
years is now a lab technician, and how my
college English teacher has become a nurse—

How the student I asked one day about her history said,
Oh my parents are not like those Filipinos on the west
coast or Hawaii, my parents were educated—

How everyone cheers for the boxer or the Dancing
With the Stars
champion, but news of poetry
and stories falls into a well of silence—

14

For we have had to reinvent
the very notion of invention,
and we have had to shelter
our wounded pride—

15

And darkness gathers
exquisite blooms: we know
their scent, even if
we cannot see them.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← A ReckoningUnseen →

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