Exile, 3

We do not have to leave to live,
The son, in his insolence, says,
His words a knife lodged in my heart.

I have come back to run away seven thousand miles
More from my shadow, each sunset I see
A promise of morning the colors of which
I do not know.

I have become blind to all
The colors of misery.

I have become
Unhearing to all the sounds of pain
In my country.

Never mind the people
Who stretch their hands in each
Corner of earth they know, the dirt
Of the streets in their smiles, perfunctory
And rehearsed as tears are natural
To their sunken eyes.

I can live here, and stay afloat,
Says the insolent son who had come
From the Mendiola with his banners
In times past when a woman housesat there
To count what mysteries she could find
Her prayer beads gleaming in the candle light
Even as she repaired her broken heart.

He fought her, this insolent son,
And now he gives me the same stance,
Arguing from the falsity of his youth
That to stay put in one's homeland
Is the glorious sacrifice of his kind.

He taught college one time,
Led young people like him dream
Of reason and of the world.

Now he commands calls, gets the beating
From somewhere with their English tongue,
He with his acquired Texas drawl, them with their
Arrogance devoid of wit and grammar.

What shall I do there? he asks,
And I look at the sun after the deluge
These two days past.

What shall I do there?

What shall we do here?

June 26/11

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