(For All My Loved Ones)
A waif on beggarline throws his blanket over
the shivering man’s back when he gets caught
in the windchill unawares. The boy catches
falling flakes, the old man manages a toothy grin.
The doddering woman past her prime lifts
the wailing child across a snowpack while
trying to wipe off mucus from its runny nose,
and steadying herself from a sidewalk fall.
The half-clad farmer pushes the masticated rice
into the mouth of his infant son after chewing
it soft like most birds drop wrigglers into the beaks
of their twittering chicks frantic in teetering nests.
Yelping pups snuggle to nudge the canine teats
hard for milk curdled in withered breasts
that no longer swing from a thin and bony ribcage,
and the bitch blinks its bleary eyes in the dark alley.
One finds it when and where no one is looking
but it becomes a circus fare when a young warrior
gets himself crucified on a tree in the hill of skulls
spread-eagled and denuded defining love as love is.
--- ALBERT B. CASUGA
February 13, 2011