Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Malu's prayer of penance

I wish. But this is really for my father, who was an OFW in the deserts of Saudi Arabia for 15 years.

by Blanca Datuin

We are figures hunched from morn till sunset.
Crowned with broad-brimmed hats and
silhoutted against the blazing sun,
we pick the prize of the earth that
feeds humanity.

The dawn breaks, we break the dawn, and we stay bent
till the dark falls to shroud us. Never mind
the pain on our back, fingers turned purple,
creamed with soil and swelling with the
richness of terra firma.

Never mind the knees that tremble, summer sweat
that drips aplenty to bathe the body ready to crawl
to a bed cushioned with dreams of a rising bird;
never mind winter that numbs ears, hands and fingers.

We look only to the feel of green in our palm
to send our folks back home; they who thirst
for fathers and mothers gone to a strange land,
to bring them back the fruits of a teeming graceland.

To you whom the scourge and agony of labor is alien,
please do not draw the curtains of darkness on us;
our bodies though worn-out are still warm like yours;
you feed on us as we feed on you.

We're tied to one another.

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