A partially found poem. “[T’boli Marivic Danyan] inherited the ceremonial dagger of the tribal chief, or datu, from her father, along with the campaign he had fought for almost three decades against a coffee plantation on community land.” ~ Jonathan Watts for The Guardian, July 2018
She tended to the bodies
peppered with gunfire, menfolk
who had been working in the corn—
She tried to change the clothes
of the dead, to put part of her
husband’s brains back inside
his skull so he was fit for burial.
Along with her father and husband,
she lost her two brothers.
The soldiers shoot first
and ask questions later,
if at all. As far as the eye
can see, forests cut down
by logging companies. Coffee
plantations where the ancestors’
resting places used to be. Now,
she is chief of a village with no
guns, fighting for its rights. Who
remembers the time when birds flew,
populating the canopy as if with fruit?