Balikbayan

He, Arnold Noche,
grandson generations removed,
of Pantaleon Garcia,
Heneral close to El Caudillo,
kept shooting pictures of the Shrine –
having read much of Cavite history
while growing up in Gardena, California
& hearing the table conversations
that kindled the fire
to stake a personal claim
on this street, this phalanx of faces
staring into the guns
at the end of the Bridge.
His camera would recover all
his dreams’ particularities,
storing them in his laptop
his technoworld of digital & optics.
Yes, he had paid homage
to the graves of his roots
who saw him off 38 years ago
for the first & last time
some crying time
he would never relive anyway
because his points of departure
& return
would be forever LA.

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