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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.

Sunday, April 29, 2012



 Fragments of sky are still visible behind the haze of new leaves. The cattails are shedding;  tufts of down drift by. That Sunday silence.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 04-29-12

  It’s been some time since I heard that Sunday silence.
 Grandfather saw me tiptoeing away from his chair,
 his eyes half-closed, I suspect now, and he called out
 weakly, but that sounded like thunder to me then.
 Ven aqui, hijo. I had to toddle to his rocking chair,
 having been caught sneaking into the kitchen where
 grandmother grated coconut flesh from its shell.
 He stroked my head, closed his eyes, said nothing.

 One other Sunday, at the hospice, I must have roused
 the bejesus out of the elderly residents when I puled
 like that little boy again, seeing my wan Father in bed,
 a bedpan half-filled with cathetered urine on a chair
 where the harried attendant must have left it absently
 when he prowled for someone to lift this limp man
 up so he could fulfill his sporadic ablutions. Silence.
 He rasped: Go home, you are drunk. Don’t scare us.

 It’s another silent Sunday. I stoop out of bed, look out
 to a fragment of sky beyond the finally sprung leaves,
 and feel like a thousand more years than my sixty-nine.
 Someone from the kitchen said it was my birthday.

—Albert B. Casuga

This is Poem #29 in my poem-a-day project to celebrate National Poetry Month (April 2012). A birthday poem.

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