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Heroes All
(at the Blessed Virgin Shrine at Edsa)

Humanity hemorrhages
from homes, schools, offices.
streaming, flowing,
feet steadily pounding.
Suddenly unflowing,
instantly mopped up
by blob of humanity.
gathering 'round Her feet.

Metal holy icon
magnetizing all,
to Her skirt attaching.
Mass ever diffusing,
widening to encompass,
to include one and all
in gentle fold of Her mantle.

All peoples, young and old,
poor and rich, students and teachers,
officials and citizens,
professionals and workers,
even prodigal children,
come by foot, by bus, by plane
from country's north to south.

They sing, they chant,
They pray, they dance.
They kneel, they march,
All as one.

She offers guiding hand from above,
gazing with benign sightless stare
at all who seek Her love,
Her solicitous, sheltering care,
Her mantle of protection.

Below, Her children offer
each other food and water,
prayer booklets and rosaries,
seeking, getting strength
from one another.

Heads are held high,
eyes alert to all evil,
ears perked to all aberrance.
Sleepless for days,
not minding sun's vehemence,
not minding thirst, hunger,
but ever alert to dissonance,
to preclude, conclude
immoral proclivity, depravity.

Not a single bullet spent.
No blood spilt. No lives fallen.
They reclaimed country's integrity,
the people's own supremacy.
Never a victory for so many.
Heroes all are!

© Mari Henson

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MILA D. AGUILAR
Dungan is Soul

MARI HENSON
Heroes All

Covered Bridges

F. OMAR TELAN
San Jose, CA 1986

My Father's Black Convertible, 1969 Ford Mustang
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