Until You Left

“Until I left anew,
I did not know what depth of sadness possessed me”
~ Luisa Igloria

until you left i did not know
that the mountain’s stillness had a name,
that this name derived from its
stoic watchfulness as tree after dignified tree
is felled and becomes “more useful”:
bench back scratcher fat fat buddha
of prosperity for taiwanese shops
decorative bulol for landscaped homes
varnished chess boards
for balikbayan relatives

sometimes the mountain caves in,
buries even the innocents,
whoever stands in its way,
angered by mining companies’
intrusions into its innards
and the improbable high-rise
rentals rising out of a quake belt

until you left i did not know
that places we love
we also in the end leave

your lesson is noted:
learn not to look back
like Lot’s wife


In response to Via Negativa: Prodigal Lyric.

Jane Likha Yatco, who signs her poems as “J Likha Yatco,” also writes occasional prose. Her poems have been published in these anthologies: Surges: Outpourings in Haiyan/Yolanda’s Wake, a literary and visual anthology edited by Joel P. Garduce and Rosana Bautista Golez; Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets, edited by Eileen R. Tabios; and Fairground: A Literary Feast, edited by Gemino H. Abad and Alma Cruz Miclat. Her poems were first uploaded as Facebook and Google+ notes.

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