The Dream of An Angel

A young girl portrays an angel lifting the black cloth covering a statue of the Virgin Mary during the traditional “Salubong” of the resurrected Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday in Barangay Pulang Lupa 1, C5 Extension, Las Piñas City. N. J. Orbeta, Inquirer, Apr 12/09

I am an angel for 
this Sunday of an Easter
and I am dressed 
in the oft-white of ritual.
I am not sure if I knew
what I am doing, 
little girl angel
that I am. 

I speak of my act ten-twenty-thirty
years from now 
when I shall have more
mind to offer, 
not this reluctance
of my right hand 
as I hang in ropes
tied to my young girl's body.

It is this ceremony of the centuries
of denial, colonized or inculcated
in the head by prayers heard
or imagined, like hell.

This is the one I have been told to do:
remove the veil of the mother
that sorrows so. 

The week past was misery
in a different crescendo, with the poor
gathering their strength to come to Cutud
and there watch the fallen Christ fall
once again in the man who had promised
to be nailed a hundredfold. 

And now this, and now this:
I lift the holy veil, silky black and blue, 
of the mother that suffers so
she with her agony as agony can be
watching her god-man of a son 
go through it all, 
this sin and this sinning
this show of a gallery 
wanting his blood in gallons
like oil from Baghdad
and raging breath from the cells
of Guantanamo
and then his body, bruised,
battered, left for dead
but will soon rise again
as it is today when I wipe
her tears finally, wipe them 
with my young girl's fingers.
I do not know, I really don't
as I live in a country run by patriarchs
and their wives and dark memory
eager to await for Lent with their song
that speaks of evil in other places
but not in this country
when all I see are beggars
hands outstretched for a morsel
of bread and being
mendicants asking for mercy
pedestrians walking endlessly
to altars without cold saints
and miraculous waters
but blood and more of them
blood oozing out the streets
blood in our hands clasped in adoration
blood in our senators' chambers
blood in the house of thieves
them men and women who should know
where human justice begins
so that god's pity ends.

I lift her mourning mother's veil
and in the years ahead
I will remember that today,
this 12th of April
in the year of the Lord
in this common era of our grief
our world's will to live
is will unto itself
like prayers to all mothers
that grieve, like incantation
to the god-man that rises
from the loneliness of his grave.

A Solver Agcaoili
Hon, HI/Apr 12/09

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