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Thereafter Watching Things Grow
by Tita Lacambra-Ayala

 

Thereafter watching things grow
what can one say?  a life’s mid
afternoon is peopled by vagrants
slaying slogans one by one like a harvest
            of overripe fruit
gypsies startled out of fugitive
encampments to read other palms
other fortunes other themes
other times

simple things remain simple
against outrage and the truth
            of colors pushed to distance
under water, under glass
under a matting of grass
monumental markers, grief’s echo
theoretical death

Who listens to appeals funded
through a voice on canvas or
            cellophane
frailty is costly and flowers bloom
in the flower shops for the living
            and their dead

remaining even as they dry
questions of ardor and faithfulness
we are forbidden, say the older men
to act older than our years
to settle matters in the light
            of inexperience
but then what are dreams for but
            visions
messages sent from light years
a glossary of fears
failures passed off as accidents
or the steady hand unwilling to betray
itself

Watching things grow
the night’s candleflame becomes
sunlight after all unfailing
and the brave are trained to stand
still against the wall of reason
For their own season

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Carlos Bulosan
OOV RESIDENT POET 2011


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