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The Condition

by Johanna May

When you are a Filipino immigrant,
You take with you both the scent
of the Sampaguita and reek
of the slums

The discord of love and well being
Every day, a betrayal
of each witnessed slight
a stunning jab
to each gentle hurt
from milder beasts in a promise land

How can you explain the gratefulness
of being pulled out from the wound of the world?

How can you explain the horror
of being alone in this salvation?

Where do you keep the sad brave faces
deprived of a mirror?

You embrace these questions
Like a child does a tattered, one-eyed bear
you plant the memory of the sampaguita
in this new hope.

And the sad brave faces?
you let the dandelions wear them. ...here the poppies wear them.

03/21/2017

Author's Note: ...still unscathed by milder beasts

Posted on 03/21/2017
Copyright © 2024 Johanna May

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