home
from the editor's laptop
welcome readerpoemsessaysshort storiesplaysstories for childrenbookslinksarchivesindex to issuesOOV readersabout us / submitcurrent issue

 

visiting the manongs in a convalescent home in delano
by Joseph Legaspi

Those mountains, ocher in the distance,
resemble the wrinkled skins
of the manongs from Delano,
a town north of Bakersfield that smells
like the first rain after a drought, the pungent
collision of earth-dryness and sky-wetness.

The fields near the highways are packed
with rows upon rows of sweet melons and sprouts.
Filipino migrant workers picked them
for cents: winter peas, oranges, bushels of apples.
Their backs arched like bent bamboos
found in Philippine provinces.

Santa Maria. Barstow. Salinas.
Fresno. Seattle. Juneau.
The west is too familiar
to these lonely, old men trapped in their rooms
filled with photographs of white girls
they had loved but cannot marry.
Each told the story of the collective,
the many eyes of a single pineapple:
I came to America at sixteen, at fourteen,
at twelve, aboard a dysenteried ship...

Looking at the east, shunned by the west,
they wander as ghosts in-between worlds, haunting,
and yet haunted by their own ghosts,
the white membranes over their eyes like sadness.
This is all we know, said the manongs,
To harvest grapes, you must destroy the vines.

—previously published in Bamboo Ridge

© Joseph Legaspi

| Visiting the Manongs in a Convalescent Home in Delano |
The Red Sweater | The Sow | Three Muses

back to toptop | about the author | back to cover



powered by
FreeFind

CAMILO ANTONIO
shoppers of paradise
for so the boys rule

FERNANDO AYALA
of kings and fools
paintings

KERMIN BALAWIS
ano nga ba ang tula

CARLENE SOBRINO BONNIVIER
after the dance
child

KIMBERLY CASTRO
the spare key

JERRY GRANDEA
the rice terraces
arteries
my brothers
kiss the baby, love the baby
yin-yang plate

EVEE HUERVANA
in my net

LUISA IGLORIA
grass
two canvases
mother liquor
jungian dream therapy

PAOLO JAVIER
my hoarse poesy

SEB KOH
doubt
pain

JOSEPH LEGASPI
Visiting the Manongs in a Convalescent Home in Delano
The Red Sweater
The Sow
Three Muses

LILAC LIMPANGOG
64-square riddle

TRIFEE MIACO
Expressions in Lilies

ABIGAIL CRUZ OLIVA
samahan mo ako /
kaduaennak
(iloko version)

sa paglaya ng ibon /
iti panagwaywayas ti tumatayab
(iloko version)


JESSIE BADILLO SNYDER
precipice

IRENE SUICO SORIANO
tata dinong
  poems | essays | short stories | plays | stories for children
from the editor's laptop | welcome reader | frontispiece
books | links | archives | index to issues
readers | about us | current issue