Beyond the shadow of Arayat, the stalks glisten in ripe gold in the sunshine
And the breeze gave it a flattering sway — seemingly sending a message coded in dance. In a week or two, the rest of the barrio including me will do the same dance in the rhythm of harvest. Dearest, the happiness of their harvest is a world away from the sadness of their planting last July.
For it was in the same rainy Sunday that a letter bearing the gobernadorcillo’s seal took you away from our humble hut to fight the Moros in the South –it took away the reason for my every breath. Unlike the harvest, I do not have the same sweet hope for any letter from you to arrive anytime soon.
I have come to accept that the saddest news would be the notice of yet another vandala and not of your unspoken pain. Tonight, as in the previous nights since you left unwillingly, I have kept you alive in my novenas as what the Agustinians advised
And just like the gilded ricefields open and yielding to the farmers,
Dearest husband, I yield the promise of your return to the will of Heaven.
Marion B. Guerrero was the first Manuel E. Buenafe Fellow at the 15th Iligan National Writers’ Workshop. He was also a fellow at the 3rd Western Mindanao Writers Workshop and the 1st AdZU Creative Writing Workshop. In all these events, he wrote in Chavacano. He is currently a faculty member of the Languages Department, School of Arts and Sciences of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University –his alma mater.