Sunday, October 17, 2004
The table is set,
your favorite chair
placed where it should be
at the kabisera where Papa always sits,
right where everyone can see you,
listen to your tales.
Pork adobo cooked with plenty of garlic
with matching shrimps cooked in tamarind soup
and kangkong leaves.
Fresh tomatoes blended with onions,
diced green mangoes and bagoong.
Grilled bangus stuffed with tomatoes
and white onions, wrapped in aluminum foil,
steaming hot rice with pandan leaves
send out aromas to satiate
your nostrils but making your taste buds
long for food.
Your room has been cleaned,
given fresh drapes, bed covers,
pillows and multi-colored blankets
from up north. The air con whirs at a steady pace
ready to give you comfort as soon
as you arrive.
As always, you're late.
No calls from Papa and Mama
waiting at the airport.
At one, the phone rings
and with a frightened, faltering
voice, Papa announces you're not