(after a tv interview featuring the widow of Hacienda Luisita martyr Ric Ramos)

“they should have not let his brain spattered
on the floor like that;
or his eyes dismembered from his face
it’s the kids, it’s too painful for them
to have seen him so horribly lifeless
or worse, remember him that way!”

this widow’s work of mourning is as habitual
as the enemy’s ritual of bullets.
at the time of the killing,
she was learning about fractions:
this much for their tuition fee
this much for roof repair
this much for new slippers
this much for food
this much for toiletries

one farm worker proposed
a toast for the union’s gain
suddenly the glasses broke
as they were lifted.
was it the might of their hands
or the force of gunfire?

and then the weeping.
followed by the
sight of a scatheless body
surrounded by intense lighting
and flowers that stink and terrify.
jam-packed and humid
is the worst kind of living room.

this is the strangest way to be home
with Ric, she mutters
and then her thoughts shift
to the rest of her life
as if to struggle
for a counterpoint to misery.

October 29, 2005

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