End of the year poem

[This is dedicated to all the OFWs and other wandering souls searching for their place in the world. May you find your way back home safely this holiday season. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!]

.

Once again we reach the end of yet another year

of life pursued

of dreams caressed

that finding home is near;

Each moment spent thinking of you

joyfully reminiscing

was fuel for a soul that waits

that counts the days remaining

until the boy

now turned a man

treks back to Pilipinas

his home

his love

his life

his heart

his happiness awaiting…

to exhale

is the pay-off I’ve been eyeing

searching patiently for when

I, too,

can do what others routinely take for granted:

going home

being home

being whole among blood relatives;

Nothing against those who are fictive

I am not knocking the new bonds we create in order to survive

social support glitters like gold,

and like gold it is valuable;

But I need more

we all need more

of the soothing warmth of unconditional love;

Ultimately

true family is true love.

.

Blood is thicker than…

…water has kept our islands apart since time immemorial

but must it also keep our loved ones separated

across nations far flung?

Can we not imagine a better way to prosper together

under one roof?

.

From that bridge of hope we use to transport our love

across nations far flung

just to make ends meet back home

should always hang a banner,

“I heart an OFW!”

for an OFW is my father,

my mother,

my sister,

my brother

is my keeper

and their sacrifices keep us hewn together.

.

It is beyond belief that their humble human labor

does prop up the economy of one nation divided.

..

Once a year we remember them

we honor them with the gaudy colors of gratitude shaded with guilt

when perhaps all we need to do

is to say simply with a deep embrace

“It is OK to stay home.”

.

~ R. Bong Vergara, 12/23/2011

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