My photo
ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013



(For All My Friends of the Feminist Resolve)

Those were her graffiti on the quartet
of trees atop the park hill. He saw them.

Will you marry me? That would have
sounded like a doleful plea. A dare, maybe?

Get those trees to say them. She plotted.
After all, were they not his conspirators

on those sultry nights when they would
giggle at the slightest tickle of twig or cone

on their backs? Be gentle with me, she said.

She is back on the park’s toboggan hillock,
this time with the child he would not have.

Mother, she said, look at how happy they
Are. They are all, all my children now.

She could not see their faces from the hill,
but she could make their laughter out

over the din of bells calling them back
to the nursery school her brave girl built.

Be gentle with them, Maestra, she said.

Soltera,* she would introduce herself ,
as she would have described her mother,

except this strong woman in her arms,
looking bravely at the stream of children

toddling behind them, would not admit
to her being alone or lonely. Graffiti on

the quartet of trees have long disappeared
under unforgiving barks. But they are there.

Be gentle with me is a warning, not a plea.


07-24-13, Mississauga

*Soltera--alone, single.

No comments: