SRA. CRESCENTA ROJAS ALBANO
Not in this anointed urn before me are you, Mama;
Not in unchained elements of your ashes,
Once mode of your body and heart and mind.
Where is your spirit now but in freedom
Of earth and sea, sky and wind -- god-like
Nowhere and everywhere undefined, uncontained?
Where are you, Mama of stories and prayers,
Model of forms of kindness that brought
People to enlivened faith and hope and caring?
I break this silent vase with this poem of tears --
Your real presence explodes in fiery holiness,
Enfolds me with light of memories of love and home.
The taste of your milk is on my tongue,
That made us one: Madonna and Child.
--- FRANCISCO R. ALBANO
Last May 24, the mother of poet and seminary rector, Rev. Francisco R. Albano, died at 89. This poem was written in July after the poet’s spiritual retreat. Having “adopted” Fr. Albano as my own brother, I, too, received news about his mother's, Tia Crescenta Rojas Albano’s demise. (He is a “tocayo” --- namesake --- rather serendipitously of my own late brother, Francisco, who died in my mother’s womb.)
I am publishing this poem (reprinted from his blog Pax Vobis) with a prayerful wish that my own mother, at 88, would consider this poet’s sentiments to be the exact, same thoughts I have, and hope that from this distance she would read them, too, while she is still with us. So "death shall have no dominion."
In a comment I affixed to the poem via Multiply, I wrote Fr Albano:
“This is a beautiful poem. La Pieta reversed. The juxtaposition of physical and metaphysical creates a tension that achieves your theme.. Bless her soul who inspires great utterance. Albert”