Monday, March 22, 2010

A Temperate Country

by Justine C. Tajonera

It was only when
my fingertips were almost frozen,
and my lips were quivering and chapped
that I remembered how,
at home,
there was never
a harsh winter

or even a howling

I know that we've had
perilous floods
and droughts
and that is,
in some way,
our own version
of the cruel
face of our

But we are blessed
with only summer
or rain
and our islands run
riot with color
and beauty
that are hidden
from our own

When I arrived,
thawed and warm,
I was tempted to pick
apart the airport
and the streets.
But I remembered
the punishing cold
and welcomed
the heat.

(March 22, 2010)
Image of a Metro Manila Sunrise from

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