the cradle of my being

my mom passed away four years ago, almost two weeks ago today, on jan.9, 2011.  it would have been her 81st birthday a couple of days from now, on jan.24, 2015.  all i have left is a memory.

i wrote these words — the tagalog verse — days after she passed away; and when my sister read it, she requested me to translate it in english.  so there are two versions of this poem.  i am dedicating these words to the memory of my mom.

hindi ko alam
ano ang gagawin
marinig mo man
ang tinig ko
marahil mahina
at tila malayo
tulad ng panaginip
laho na
bago muling magunita.

dahil sa pamapatulog
na bumabalot
sa katawan at isip mo
upang di mo maramdaman
ang bigat sa dibdib
at kaskas
ng mga tubong plastik
na isinaksak
sa hingahan mo.

mga luha kong alay
di mo na pansin
hikbi
ng pusong di-papipigil
kandilang tunaw sa panlalambot.

nakagapos ng lubid
di makakilos
ikaw
sa malubhang sakit
ako
sa matinding hinagpis.

sa huling sandali mo
tanging magagawa ko’y
hawiin
ang korona mong kupas
idaan ang palad ko
sa noo mo’ng
may init pa
ng nalalabing buhay
maipadama ko lang
sa’yo
na kahit katiting
ay nasuklian
pag-aruga mo sa akin.

the (loose) translation:

i am like a child lost for words
with nothing to say
yes you might hear a voice
a small voice far and distant
as in a dream when one awakes
and none but a fading memory lingers
like a mist soon vanished.

because of the drugs
that made you sleep
enwrapt you body and mind
so you won’t feel
the heaviness on your heart
and the abrasions
of the plastic tubes they stuck
deep in your airways.

the tears i shed like candle melting
the painful sighs of a heart inconsolable
pass unnoticed.

bound by cords of rope
helpless, immobile
you in mortal sickness
me in indescribable anguish.

m-i-i-i-i-i! i groaned
bowed down on your face with grief
my eyes drenched with bitter sorrow
the channels from my gut to my eyes gave way.

my fingers brush your faded crown
my palms caress your temples
gently, tenderly
still warm
with the touch of life past
you were the temple of my life
the cradle of my being.

the house is empty now
the windows shut
you left it in silence.

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