Atlas of Sorrows
To and fro like the waves of the sea
Tick n’ tock as time spill free
Waiting and waiting sighing for release
Enduring, seething pain to recede
I have tried to map the beginning
The first prick in April, a small tingle
Till it loomed larger, heavier than mourning
As tears, breath and longing mingle
As time passed, I toiled and toiled
To carve a canyon, a chasm from the pain
I went so high, so far from anything soiled
But one cannot help but gaze across the plain
And then pain strikes, as one remembers
Memories spilling, holding, surrendering
“It’s still here”, gasping I then wonder
At how meaningless, all the wandering
Abreast I look across the hazy horizon
And see the soiled hands that carved the canyon
I glory in the achievement, the callous heart
But how empty, meaningless, the hurt
Time passes as in the hourglass sand
Things change, circumstances freeing
But some things are left unchanged, bland
As the hurt recedes even further, I grinning.
So this is a map of sorrows, atlas of burden
Time heals, I forget, histories written
But you there, remember how I sorrowed deeply
Because I risked, I loved, so greatly.
*Photo taken at the In Memorare Monument for the people killed at the liberation of Manila, February 1945.
*Poem composed at my bedroom staring at my ceiling, Feb. 23, 2014.