It was my first dance in a long while.
I followed the dictates of the angels
and the old memories in my legs,
the movements from the birds
in my dead father's fields, down towards
my city's west where there, we pass by
graves, three for the road, and we,
farm people and poor poets were never
never afraid despite the ghost stories.
You right leg swayed following your hips
and you are our old sorceress, the stunts
of magic in your hands, the power of enchantment
in your silence as I followed you
while we danced, round and round,
and rounder and rounder we went to hit
it right with the music that came from the lips
from the gay words of writers that kept
us company. It was this revelation I remember
now even as you lie on your deathbed
perhaps watching what gift of memory
you left behind, this gift etched in the fabric
of our grief. No, no, you could have said
if only you knew we would. I am not going
away but fly to the height of metaphors
we all need to come across life lived in fullness.
You could have said those, Manang Perting,
and I know you would. Now, in this life,
give us the words the bless.