A Filipino Writer Of English Poems To A Filipino Writer Of Spanish Poems

I think of the whiteness of snow
on a postcard from an immigrant aunt.
How sweet, how pure
and unreal like props
in a high-school play.
The closest I have seen of it is
crushed ice on halo-halo.
Why do I end up speaking
of white things?
I feel blond -
bleached and painted over.
But this is how I speak:
misted over with a foreign flavor
but in essence a native blend
of brown and yellow.
I think of how you must have
shivered in the European snow,
words warm in your heart.
I wonder if you dreamt
in Spanish.
Perhaps we dreamt
the same dream,
our incandescent souls
glowing beneath
the translucent veils
of tongues-to-suit-our-needs.
We were born in a land
of two seasons, not four,
unused to and awed by
words like:
autumn, winter, spring.
I think of snow and
how it melts into a
gray-tinged slush,
how these words of ours
will melt with the heat
of what we really mean.
But I think we wear
our costumes well.
If it is cold
we have to put
our coats on
but it will always be
with our skins
that we feel.

1996

by Justine Camacho Tajonera

Other poems of CAMACHO TAJONERA (32)

Comments (3)

' While wind in procession........are far away'.....Those are the thoughts that have occupied peoples mind in all ages.
Lyrically written, Whitman reflects on the continuing procession of bivouac and ongoing war.
This is a solemn and compact reflection on a evening between the fury of one battle and the next. The scene is beautifully set and the reflection is profound.