KASAMA Vol. 24 No. 1 / January-February-March 2010 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

Arrivals and Departures

Aida F. Santos

For P.

We wrapped the bamboo neatly
the rectangular bamboo tray
goes at the bottom, like a platter
for the rest of your seabound luggage
then the books and notes follow
documents of your lazy days
and traipsing around the country
last summer, in the hills and mountains
of our struggles.
The delicately woven oblong jewel box
we wrapped in old newspapers
though it holds no jewels
but trinkets and lollies.
The iloko cloth with the greens and browns
folded in a ceremony
along with the other baskets of this country
our hands touching barely.
Wrap it tightly, the post is a careless bunch
of overworked, underpaid women and men
who will find no tenderness
when they shove your parcel
into the guts of the ship.
Write your name all over
the brown paper wrapper
over the several-times-over tape
clear addressee, please, your name all over
homebound, seabound
the memories of your visit
find comfort inside an old blue bedsheet.
Tight-jawed, we concentrated
on the mechanics of packing
packing neatly, and safely.
Finally the bundle was one simply square
almost perfect, but not quite:
there was a tear
that refused to fall
neatly or squarely
wrapping bundle, seabound, homebound
quietly, safely, in a neat goodbye.

Aida SantosSpaces Earthbound Skybound CoverAida F. Santos
Spaces Earthbound Skybound
Manila: 2000

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