Flag flying free on the Black Virgin

The Philippine flag flies free in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Edsa Shrine, once part of the People Power revolt, which resonated and inspired countries around the world to break free of their chains 24 years ago. R. Lerma, Inquirer, Feb 23, 2010

These are two witnesses to what were
what we have become. A flag flies free
in a wretched land, a black virgin
watches over the people with her
sacred countenance. To the cloth
and to the woman of the cloth
we gather in supplication, both
in an act of defiance and desistance
one for making us believe that indeed
we started it all, this quest for more
this struggle to make us see
that it is not a gift, this life we lead
but had to fight it out all the time
from morning when we pass by her
this black virgin, sullen as the sullen hour
and the flag does not move without
the breeze in this place we call
the no-man's land. Like now,
when all you see are announcements
of EDSA that have come to pass
not one life good enough to make us
see the light even when the president
has said so that in time we shall all
be glad. But this is a promise whose
ending we do not know. Even its syntax
is one of pleading from the patron
saint of loves and lost causes.
It flies free, the flag and we remember
the night, four of those, spent on street
pavements, on rough days with the insult
of soldiers and the mocking men of God.

Hon, HI

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