By Justine C. Tajonera
It is one of the hottest summers I remember,
though the yellow blooms of April Showers have
arrived as expected. Growing up so close to the sea,
I yearn for the beach this season. But I've been warned
off one of our islands: Escherichia coli in the water. I think
of the summers left for my children. Can we plant enough
trees for them to cover mountain sides and hills
that have given way to landslides? Even in my lifetime
I have never seen a clean river in the city. Will they be
forever escaping their homes to get a breath of air?
We pick strawberries as tourists on the mountain up North.
Will they ever know a life close to the earth, close to
the water? What I remember are third quarter storms
that flood cities and sweep away children from their
mothers. We wait out this summer heat, expecting
drought, not knowing if the coming rains will be worse
this year. I imagine the engines ceasing, silence falling
over the streets, seeds sprouting beneath ruins. Children
are playing by a river in Pasig and families play music
with bamboo and brass instruments, eating feasts from
their gardens, meditating on new stories of the summer.