by Victor P. Gendrano
Gnarled hands reveal
The toil of countless years,
Unceasing care in raising us
From carefree days.
Warm them on mine, let us,
In peace, relive the bygone days
With no regret. Let's not lament
The rare instance when we snatched
From fleeting time a few minutes
Then being one, sharing one's soul
In man-to-man's togetherness.
Time-warped and distance-dulled
We seem only to dwell on those
We like and dump away the rest
As if in so doing we wash our guilt
Of things undone, unspoken words
Which might haunt us in our sleep.
Your frail body, which now is sapped
Of all strength lay bedridden
Creased brow, etched lines
On aged face my hands
Nor love, cannot erase.
Hearken, I'll sing our song
When as a child you soothed my fears
I need it now to steel myself
Still sorrow, and sad swan song
Inchoate yet escaping
From my burdened breast.
And when the thief of life
Finds us apart, take heed
With you my thoughts, my love
My memories remain always
As with Mother who you precede
Rest peacefully, peacefully rest
We commend you to heaven's grace.
In my book, RUSTLE OF BAMBOO LEAVES, but first published in Heritage magazine, Vol. II, No. 1, March 1988.