TWO POEMS: THE SEASHORE SHELLS
For Lolita Tadina Molanida (1943-2013+),In Memoriam for a Prom Partner and Friend*
1. PICKING UP LOST SHELLS
We had little worlds then, but they were good.
Were they as bright as our dreams though?
It was the prom night I cherish most, we would
Finally hold each other, gingerly stepping toe
To anxious toe, dancing timid glances away,
Deaf to the music, anxious for that deep sway
We giggled at when our prom coach yelled:
“Hold those hands like you liked each other!
One-two. One two-three---sway!” She called
Out, we sashayed, twirled away from each other,
Only to glide back into that one sudden embrace,
When I stepped on your wayward shoelace.
Life’s promenades must end, they can’t go on,Like a lifetime of absence until I heard you’d gone.
2. IN CANAOAY, AT PORO POINT
That’s where to go when you achefor a piece of that elusive paradise,
it is a stone’s throw from there
where languid sunsets play tricks
on squinting eyes, a will-0’-the-wisp
laved by ebbtide, a sundown bravura
of rainbows, a Wagnerian grandeur.
Here I am, picking up abandonedshells. Could their quondam settlers
have required more wiggle space,
find ease where there is nothing
left of free and unbridled growing?
I, too, have bartered for lost dreams
but like Orpheus I looked too closely.
Have I turned around to size up mytrophy coming out of struggles
to recast quotidian days into happy
residues of life and love? Did I lose
what I endlessly return to, where
coming back is also coming home?
I look back for shells that I had lost.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA