You are seventeen and I am alone
In Los Angeles with the memories.
I count the stars in the dark night
Over Redondo Beach and I see you,
Bright with your smiles like the dawn
That waits up on me. I see you now
More than ever in this riot of colors
The summer brings, my second absence.
You count the years of distances
With the bursting of flowers in gardens,
Yards and the wild wide spaces before me.
I count the days. They last as years,
Decades, generations, centuries
Even as I hear now the cheerful chorus
Of birds in the front yard you sometimes
Sweep in the ritual of tears when your mother
Tells you in her big voice, commanding
As ever even as she reminds you to blow
The candle and make your three wishes.
Aurelio S. Agcaoili