Morning After: Final Tribute

A.

After the burial
her absence
becomes more real,
palpable.
& she, the favored one,
won’t be able
to stand
the silence of the room.
Once upon a time
she would hie off
to her sanctum
to hear
her comforting voice,
muss her hair,
rebuke so gently
her mischievous
affair.
But the Matriarch
no longer lives there.
How can she wake up
mornings
without the coffee
tasting bland
or bitter?
If she were only
God
& could command
her back
like she does
her own child.

B.

Time,
she reflects,
can be shattered
into fragments:
a piece of shard
for morning rituals,
another
for social functions,
the rest
for intimate pleasure…
She cannot wish
to glue them together
& vise
her grief.
How she fears
to fail wiggling out
of the punishing grip.

C.

They will seek
solace
in each other’s
company.
They will start
to break the silence,
then slowly
inch toward
merriment.
There will be
sudden gasps
& words that will
slip in
with a vengeance,
but it will all be
fleeting, provisional.
They must however
clear the cobwebs
draping their minds
lest they perish
whimpering
in the dark.
For during evenings,
the beasts
of desolation
return.

D.

Sundays
will be unbearable,
when a fractured
family
becomes whole again
but her absence
will be the telltale sign.
O It must be screened off
by the noise
of children
& the tipsy conversation
of kinsmen.
They must pass around
the plates of feast
lest they all be
ambushed
by incalculable sadness
that may escape
its icy cage.

E.

Somehow
it assaults
her
like a traitorous
enemy:
in moments
when she seeks
the ease of company,
luxury of time
& hearty conversation,
her throat
suddenly catches
& she stops
as if a hand
has settled on her shoulder
to shake her up
like a leaf.
Only then
she lapses
into a helpless
child again.
O Memory
can be vicious
like a lover.

F.

Old truths
revisited:
Time will heal
all this,
soothe
well-meaning
pundits
who also themselves
need
to forget.
But how long
must this take
to escape
the vise
of the infinite?
If only
she were an angel
with calculated
expertise
to slip in & out
of funereal grief.
But she is not.
She will have
to float down
the river Hades,
pretending
she doesn’t breathe.

G.

Hell
is forever.
Heaven
so damned transitory
she wishes
prayers
will last longer
than eternity.
But is it
listening?
Does it care?
Can we just believe
with crossed fingers
everything’s
A-ok?
& things are not
what they say?
Suffer illusion,
intones the sage
to the children
& undream
what the Devil
has foreseen.
There is no exit.
We can only weep.

H.

Life is beautiful.
Even a sad clown
will register this.
It is not so much
that darkness
blinds the eye,
as the sun
shines behind the clouds.
Tell that
to birds that fly
in flocks
but do not collide.
Tell that
to schools of dolphin
who swim
with precision, delight.
The heart
bursts in colorful
rays –
only minutes
rule
eclipse
of solar way.

I.

How can you
grieve
outside your self?
The event was
pure melodrama,
staggering the heart:
Why are you
like a woman
quick to shed tears
at the drop
of a hat?
The heckling
streamed down
like the rain,
but he couldn’t duck
the water spray.
So here he was
wiping his face
lest people find out…
But it was
no laughing matter.
Cory, they said,
was the last brown hope
of the underdogs?
A patrician
to lead the pack?
Of course not,
He counter-argued:
The revolution
has so many roads:
She just opened
a door –
a long, winding story to be told.

J.

The kids
at seven in the morning
were still
drowsy,
almost half-asleep,
valiantly
trying to be academically
attentive:
They could only mutter
the gibberish:
She was roused
by a group text
about the Saturday
tragedy…
SMS from London
purveyed a terrible loss
but she didn’t seem
to feel it.
She couldn’t make out
the buzz for the departed –
she had no inkling
about EDSA;
her parents were
half-hearted.
So she turned on her side
to catch up
on interrupted sleep…
The others merely quipped:
This is just
another death.
It happens every day.
When the teacher
looked out the window,
it was raining
& leaves fell
like green tears.
Is this generation
for all its innocence
worth any lesson
to be preached?

K.

This is to harsh –
an old fogey
shushed him up.
We were also
like that,
indifferent & cold
as if the world
happens
on its own accord
& we amusedly
looked on.
How to change
this point of view?
O he smirked:
Get married in Babylon!
Find out
why markets
chill you to the bone.
Then report
on what has been done
to that old, old song:
Que sera, sera!
But destiny
is also your own!
Pull yourself
by your own bootstraps,
or gamble
your fate
on the revolution?

L.

After
burial,
what shall
they do
with the enemy?
O Allow them
the view
of the casket
for their photo-op,
then clear
the crowd
to have them leave.
No words
to be spoken
or exchanged:
tradition for the dead
must be observed.
& pray not
that Heaven fall
on those
who caused the pain.
Never lift a finger
to summon
servants of God
to utter
the sacral censure:
All it is in due time,
cosmic handiwork.
Outside the cathedral
let mourners
decide the mode of response
to the alien
blood & visitor.

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2 Responses to Morning After: Final Tribute

  1. Tara says:

    Hi again! :P Just dropping a line to say that I’m glad that this blog is still busy. How are you?

  2. Nice to hear from you again! Ganoon pa rin, ulanin at arawin. Just keep in touch. How many kids do you have now? Stay lovely.

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