Trail

By Estrella Taño Golingay (Poetry)

Where the river was
is a trail built for the
gods. I can tell them by

the way they point their
fingers, leaves fleeing
down in fear. I hide

behind bars of fallen twigs
like a fugitive, my limbs
like pillars of vines. Things

solid get even here, curt
and clever in one sweep
of steel and teeth.

I must get back to where
Ye Famben toils on the
heels of Mt. Matutum

tell her how I miss her and
the songs of the woods she
used to sing for me, tell her

how scared I am of these
persistent stories slowly
claiming our hills and trees.

So I trace the footsteps home.
There were thousands on the
path back to Lamfitak.

Now there are only pebbles
and new sand that keep on
getting between my toes.

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Daughter

By Estrella Taño Golingay (Poetry)

All that’s left
Is in the photographs
Bridal satin and flowing
Organza, all in the right

Places. With your hair
In a bun, you look good
In the album. Nothing
there reminds me of

the house, the rooms
made of my scrubbing.
Where your door was
are never-ending walls

Dreaming, I watch you
make over your bed
Like wind, I fold in
between the sheets

cabinets

cribs and

kitchen

sink

Si Nene at Ako sa Pagitan ng Gabi at Liwanag

By Estrella Taño Golingay

(Ang tulang ito ay nanalo ng unang gantimpala noong 1994 sa patimpalak ng Home Life magazine.)

Hatinggabi na, Nene
Hindi ka pa natutulog
Baka ka mabingi
Sa bulungan ng gabi
At ng mga lamok
Tingnan mo’t manhid na
Itong aking mundo
Pagod na rin ang utak ko
Sa kahahawak sa guniguni mo
At kasasagot sa mga tanong mo
Makulit kang talaga
Tama na sabi ’yang mga haplos mo
Sa kaluluwa ko
At baka makalimutan na
Hugis ng aking mundo
Hindi mo ba nakikita?
Ayan at nakakulong na
Sa mga saknong na itinanim ko
Matitinis na hagikhik mo
At mabibilog mong mata
Pumikit ka na
At baka magising sila
Hayaan mo’t bukas ay dadalawin ka
At hahatdan ng mga bulaklak
Kaya, matulog ka na, anak
At sa lamig ng tulugan mo’y dalhin
Ang init ng hatinggabi ko
Sa pisngi ko’y nag-uunahan

Hatinggabi na nga pala
Sana, sana’y antukin na ako