Groceries and hardware stores melt
into wet markets and storage drums
as the van leaves the city behind,
tin roofs spread into palm fronds
half courts into fields of green
where herons the size of flamingos
snack on fat insects
while the carabaos lounge
in their watering holes.

Religion is fluid
the cross morphs into steeple
curves into crescent and star and again
as immediate faith requires. The rivers
you pass are varied as the women
you have known, some wide and full
of life, some narrow and menopausal,
daughters of landslides
and of water finding its path.

The highway bleeds through potholes
from improvised explosion, or from flood
Where checkpoints have sprouted
like banana trees, its leaves waving you on
through schools with front yards
the size of football fields
past trees stripped diagonally of bark
fat dogs asleep beside the pavement
and vice versa.

Bambit Gaerlan
Christmas Day, 2013

On the Davao-Cotabato Road

Post navigation