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Cheryl L. DaytecYañgot

Youth Interrupted

Like the delicate tumble of a dried leaf
On a soft, fragile mound of earth
The passing away of an old man
Inscribes no scar
A poignant sigh. Silence. Finally, peace.

When a young man gives up the ghost
It is like a boulder descending
On a floor made of fragile glass
The scattered splinters carve
terrible wounds beyond closure
Pleading for reason that won’t show itself

No one recovers from the sorrow
Not even time itself
It will haunt the future
Forced to remember, to cry the tears of old
To echo the questions of a devastated age
To dread the reprise of a bewildering fate

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On This Cold Day

(In Memoriam)

They fell. One by one, heroes fell
On their blood against cold, harsh stones
Last words pled for the masses’ weal
Their death justice alone atones

Compelled into reluctant graves
Bodies lost, but never their quests
With zeal they lived for why they died
Peace and justice - our common pride

Terror reigns in these trying times
Do we blaspheme their sacrifice
With muted cries and cowardice
Or do we confront greed and lies?

One lesson learned from their bloodstream
Lives are worth losing for our dream
On this cold day we honor them

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Reflections On Fahrenheit 9/11

I can smell the raw tangy scent
of will drying in my hand
I see the shape of dreams
Escaping the bowels of the fields
Like a thick swirl of smoke from a
Tire factory’s chimney
What is life but a flash of light
A bomb can easily put out
Until no one hears a town’s last cry?
No one listens to the orphans’ prayers
Having seen too much, too early
even infants know the meaning of mortality
For life is but a slave
To a conscience run amok
For the price of every dropp
of blood of the innocent
is a heavy pocket from firearms
and napalm bombs
“No war, no weapons business!
No mutilation, no murder!

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While Silence Is Her Refuge

He crushed her being,
spat on her education,
raked her self-confidence
burned her plans
charted in the kitchen
where her work was never done.
Violence upon violence
visited her scar-ridden body
The pain so severe
she could not even scream.
Silence was her refuge.

Her wounds ran much deeper
than sisters could imagine
But she swam alone in the
sea of her nightmares and anguish
fears covered, cries stifled
Silence was her refuge.

The crowd had a million ears

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Vicarious Experience

(While Watching Coffee Prince*)

She feels love in just a touch, in every stare
Even in every thought of the woman and man

The pirated digital video disk gets stuck-
She ran it, ran it so many, many times-
The image of the lovers sharing a smile
Is frozen like a large colorful still picture
Slowly, she shuts her eyes, sees beyond
Derision has been disguising as laughter
The silence between has become too wide
Arresting the space for hope, second chances
Absence no longer makes the heart yearn
It gives breathing space a lease in solitude
The door opens, a figure dominates the room
She pushes the remote control’s power button
The television screen turns deathly black
He need not know that her hollow, prosaic life
Draws color and joy from a television screen.

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To A Twelve Year-old Child

-A 12-year-old girl, who became despondent over her family’s poverty, hanged herself inside their makeshift house a day after her father told her he could not give her the P100 she needed for a school project.

-The government is taking responsibility for a 12-year-old girl who took her life because of extreme poverty but assured that steps are being taken to ease hunger and poverty, officials said on Thursday.

-News reports of The Philippine Daily Inquirer,2007


The deep shadows that enveloped your home
And never retreated since you were born
Became the light that illuminated your mind.

I sorrow for your death, my dear child
Your mother’s milk on your lips barely dried
And she is not tired from singing cradlesongs
I did not tell you that there is life…still
There is life beyond a pad paper and a pencil
that fathers forced into shameful indolence
could not purchase, even with their blood
This world did not demand heroism from
someone so tender and innocent as you

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Call For The Next Dance

(for Harry)

How we used to dance together.

The dinner table would be set
With its lyrical sparkle of low light,
the candle would bid us:
Dance!
With mine, your body would move
in all directions,
weaving a poetry of motion
creating – unconsciously-
beautiful memories
that we would summon
with a smile,
not sorrow
when we could not dance
together anymore
Ah, how we loved to dance

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