To A Friend In Chicago

i may neglect
you for a while
my friend
for i am speaking to
a neighbor
just a stone throw away
from where
i am standing

it is different
when i speak using
my native tongue
i feel my roots down
under my feet

on the other hand
how it feels is like
seeing my old mother
again
back in the house of
our childhood

outside the guava
trees are bearing so
much fruits
heavy on its branches

tomorrow perhaps all
will be ripe
but the sad thing is
this: there is no child
anymore here
who is for the picking

by RIC BASTASA

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