CASTLES IN OUR HEARTS:
TWO POEMS FOR MOTHER
(For Sra. Nenita Buenaventura vda. de Casuga + R.I.P.)
The house was/ not falling down/ yet, is still not/ falling down yet. ---From “Scientific Method” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist
Somewhere a white or purple balloon
will get snagged on a branch on its way down,
but not before it has flown among the clouds.
Did you see their glistening faces, Mother?
Did you see their smiles mingle with tears?
How could they help themselves, the flight
could not have been any more enchanting?
There you were among the soaring balloons.
There you were riding the wind to where
you said Father would be and catch him
unawares, except he has looked over you,
and you could not surprise him anymore
than you could when you caught him
dancing with a harlot at that sleazy Poro bar.
A trembling boy then, I dreaded the end,
the crumbling of the home you built with him;
but you dared to adore him more, love him
silly until one day he said no force, no termites,
will destroy the house he built you, and home
will always be at the end of the bend, where
trees are still adorned with snagged kites
that soared no further than their strings
could bring them until they break on twigs
that would look good with broken kites as ribbons.
With you and Father gone, your house has fallen
On slow disrepair, but not your home, wherever
you will find it---that has always been erected
as impregnable castles in our bereaved hearts.
---Albert B. Casuga
(Shown in photo furnished by my niece Dulcinea C. Valenciano of Mother's burial rites are my sister Charito and mother's youngest sibling, Pio "Ping" Buenaventura , releasing their white and purple balloons, after mother's interment in San Fernando City, La Union Province, Philippines, June 14, 2012, beside our father's tomb.)