It’s Not Always Sunshine in the East

Poetry by | May 27, 2012

She died crouching in the vertical box;
with grains of rice occupying every available space
there is to occupy.

Somewhere, outside the door,
hermit crabs are running away from the dark,
trailing tattered strands of
torn yellow ribbons.

Torn yellow ribbons tied
through holes, on clotheslines
and on the dented barks of coconut trees
standing in lines outside the house,
guarding the house
as military troops storm the streets with
their bayonets; screaming, thirsting for soft flesh–young flesh.

And little girls flee,
near the sea, through the city, into the woods,
not wanting to be seen.

Like hermit crabs
they flee
and they hide

only to die crouching in the rice dispenser
with grains of rice occupying every available space
there is to occupy.


Bam Baraguir majored in Asian Studies at Ateneo de Davao University. The poem was written while the author spent some months in Myanmar for a volunteer work with an NGO. She was born, and lives in Cotabato City.