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photo: flickr/Patrick Hoesly


Copyright on TEXT/POETRY © 2013 Su Layug. All Rights Reserved.*

Notes from Leyte

(found poem from the news) http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/334829/news/nation/buhi-kami-tanan-yolanda-survivors-send-messages-to-loved-ones

On the rippled edge
of a half-moon paper plate —
perhaps kept dry in a bag
for a wedge of a birthday cake —
the scribbling says,
“Buhi Kami Tanan.”
(We’re All Alive)

On a narrow-ruled page,
ripped from a spiral
that used to bind school notes,
in curly manuscript:
“We’re fine. No house, no food.
Nothing.
Still looking
for Big Diding.
Don’t worry.”

A piece of brown bag,
kept neat, perhaps, to wrap
kan-on, sinugba or a sandwich
that mother or father would have made:
in bold, block letters, says,
“Ate, mom and dad are dead. Please
tell everyone.
No connection.”

I wish the world to write them back:

Mga Sulat Mula sa Leyte

(natuklasang tula, mula sa balita)

Sa alun-along gilid ng hating-buwan
na papel na pinggan —
na maaaring itinabi
para sa isang hiwa ng birthday cake —
nakasulat ito:
“Buhi Kami Tanan.”
(Buhay Kaming Lahat)

Sa makikitid na linya ng isang pahina
na pinunit mula sa alambre
na dati’y nagkukupkop ng mga tala
sa eskwela,
sa mapalabok na panulat:
“Ligtas kami. Walang bahay, walang pagkain.
Waray.
Hinahanap pa rin
si Diding Laki.
Ayaw la kabalaka.”

Sa pirasong paper bag
na masinop ang tiklop, siguro’y pagbabalutan
Ng kan-on, sugba o sandwich
na gagawin sana ni nanay o tatay:
Sa malalaki’t makakapal na letra,
“Ate, patay na si mommy at daddy. Pakisabi
sa lahat.
Walang koneksiyon.”

Pagnanasa ko ang balik-sulat ng mundo:

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