Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Words

By Justine C. Tajonera

I listen to my son
saying words,
words that now mean
rather than the pleasant
babble of
and I realize
that he speaks
in our native tongue
just as much
as he speaks
our borrowed one.
I think back
to my own
without a mother
to raise me,
I must have
been speaking in
eating ginamos
with my yaya
in the kitchen.
I kiss my son,
asking for
twenty kisses and
he teases me with
the word, ayaw.
I try to remember
all the lost
and promise myself
that my son
will not.

Bisaya - Visayan, a Philippine language
Tagalog - Philippine National language

Ginamos - salted, fermented fish
Yaya - Visayan or Tagalog for Nanny
Ayaw - Tagalog for I don't want to

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