By Miguel Paolo Celestial
You were younger then.
Holding a dictionary,
you taught me how to form words
from sets of seven letters.
Patiently you gave words
to fill my head and to slide on my tongue.
Now, as I let them slide from my heart to my hands,
you are bound and struck by silence.
I see you stare blankly in the kitchen.
I know you recall the faces of people,
the textures of places.
I try to avoid your eyes
knowing the colors I will see
swim with words
that speak not of this time.
Displaced, no words can keep you
in this time and this space.
Published in Heights magazine (2001) and the Likhaan anthology of poetry (2001)
Revised and translated into Filipino as 'Kay Lola Maring', set to rhyme and meter