Hilot

Poetry by | February 10, 2013

Back in my hometown where coconuts,
tall or dwarf
are massage oil
to correct the fetal position
before giving birth
with a bottle
of marinated root herbs.
Manang Iya’s rough hands moistened
with oil and scents, whispered
in my stomach her myth
and fragmented prayers
and broken syntax
of the Catholic church
two blocks
away,
halfway,
faraway
from my grandmother’s old house
where Chico trees guard the night,
its evergreen leaves
and white subtle bell-like flowers
bearing earthy brown-skinned ballyhooed fruits
that every morning, I pick up,
one by one, some half-eaten
by night birds, some ripe, unripe
while sweeping
the terrace with silhig ting-ting,
leaves scattered
on the ground, coloring
the yard: a world from my hospital window
the same evergreen colored ground
I watched for the longest now
and the longest even now
of days in this bed with a bandaged stomach
now emptied
with scars and stretch marks
in an off-color hue.

Jermafe Kae Angelo-Prias is a housewife and a graduating student of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao. She is a fellow in the 2012 Iligan National Writers workshop.