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Apart we stand alone

Our hearts in mad pursuit
for each a world to own

In this estrangement
somehow we will meet

Soul to soul
in seconds snatched
from timeless space

For still in you
the waif cries tearless
for the Strong in me

And child once tendered
by those Gentle Hands
is still a Me in me

- from "baring more than soul"

Somewhere in my mind's screen I am following a scene where my mother is sitting with others on a bench. I face them with my back against the railing. She looks relaxed, as if biding her time.  I take my cue from her.  Others follow suit. We bide our time, waiting for the blast of the ship's horn that would signal to the passengers’ guests that it was "Time to go!"  

Who were we seeing off? She was seeing us off. My brother and I were headed for America to join our stepfather—leaving her behind. "Only for a while," she assured us. 

*  *  *

The young are resilient. They possess an outflow of blind trust they hand over to a parent. Parents, on the other hand, in order to survive, try to rationalize why this separation is necessary and is temporary (I promise!). Add to that a familiar refrain: I am doing this for you, thus perpetuating the mindset of priority which will repeat itself from one generation to the next. And this mindset is that "a good provider . . . leaves."

At five or at eleven, do you have it in you to articulate a hollowing sadness burrowing through your innards? Your arms are too short to stop a grown-up from leaving. Your tears will be kissed away. Lavish promises are made: Chocolates and gifts. You resort to one of two ways to swallow your tears: hoard a resentment or you let go. You let go.

*  *  *

You are a parent of the 21st century. Don’t blame government, unemployment, corruption, economics or global market competition. Go because it is your choice. You believe that you provide the only means for your progeny to survive. And they will . . . without you. Only be gracious and allow them their honest moment of anger. Allow them to cry. Go.

Remé-Antonia Grefalda
Arlington, Virginia, January 2013
our.own.voice@gmail.com



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EDITOR
Remé-Antonia Grefalda

ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto

ART DIRECTOR AND WEB DESIGNER
Geejay Langlois

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR FOR THE ARTS
Eileen Tabios

OOV 2013 RESIDENT POET
Ivy Alvarez

FACEBOOK EDITOR
Kathleen Burkhalter

copyright 2013

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