PALABRA DE HONOR
How long does wood need to steep,/to stay alive long enough with clay/it loves in the kiln?---From “Each Question is Always the Same Question” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 08-11-11
I would take forever, if I were wood, to steep
in peacock colours and stand tall as a totem
pole. But I am still an uncut trunk, a lookout
point really, staying true to a palabra de honor.*
On my word of honour, even when I am felled
to provide fire for cauldrons or heat for kiln,
I will stay alive long enough as ember until
you have been formed as that earthen jar
to hold what we have always wanted to keep:
all the love and promise moulded in crucibles
of passion molten at last as honey to last us
to the end of our journey beyond this woods.
This kiln fire would have long cooled down,
before the flame of this palabra de honor,
my troth and my word, would have flared out.
My trunk will be imbued with lustrous red soon.
---Albert B. Casuga
*Palabra de honor ---A word of honour, a troth that one is ready to live or die for.