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Marooned


I thought I’d never live to see

Deserted streets and empty church

And empty schools before holy week.

I thought I’d never live to see

Total silence in the concert halls,

All over the world

with actors, singers and dancers

On mass forced vacation.

I thought I’d never live to see

Hospitals bursting with patients

And exhausted medical practitioners.

I thought I’d never live to see

Dead people disposed of

quietly as it were

Without proper farewells

From kith and kins.

It is the protocol,

Said the woman

From whom we follow

strict orders on testing kits

And sanitation.

I thought I’d never live to see

Food packs delivered on

Garbage trucks.

I thought I’d never live to see

Clowns offering love and concern

By way of contrived pictorials.

There is outrageous discomfort

From the pit of my stomach

As I look

at those concerned men and women

seemingly grinning

behind surgical masks.

I thought I’d never live to see

A head of state of a rich country

Shedding honest tears on public television

Helpless over the thousands of sick,

the dying and the dead.

Marooned

for almost nine days now,

I am at the mercy of my grandson

Doing errands while gingerly holding on

To our precious barangay pass

As though our lives depended on it.

On a Monday,

You are marooned

With no choice but to listen

To pompous but empty speeches

In the House of the People.

Marooned

and shaking

With overpowering anger

Coming from the pit of your being,

I thought I’d never live to see

A country reeling from the virus

And rendered helpless

By machinations from men

who hold power.

On the other hand,

I am glad I lived to see

Artists all over the world

Seemingly acting in unison

Offering words of comfort

To distressed citizens

of the world

With few heavenly minutes

of Bach, Verdi and Beethoven.