Love is ever a gift
when not alone a right
when neither should nor must
but only might.
Love is pride
in a beggar’s cup
and you may walk away
or you may stop.
I take your gift
as a wide-eyed beggar child
and always it were bread enough
had you merely smiled.
But should you more than smile
then giver give your lot
give for all the times
that you did not.
Because the heart has held its tether
through your own’s uncertain weather
you think it feeds itself
on nothing but forgiving
so swing from devoted to uncaring
strain away, wing back,
dissolve, resolve with each returning.
Grow out can you of this weathervaning
this ruthless penduluming
choose either cleaving or cohesing
find your avatar!
Then oblate into forevering
might rise out of your own limning
love that is moored and unwinging
and elects its own unfreeing.
Old House Being Torn Down
How swiftly the casings of a lifetime fall
Trusses unbind too docilely when it’s time to go.
Yesterday this was a house, though none’s delight to see,
Still doing what houses are put up to do
Yet with dangled gutters and shot roof already nothing more
(nothing less!) than carapace of something,
a life maybe.
She was a small woman, querulous and shy.
I would see her pruning the crotons in her yard.
At times she would see me and talk about babies,
woman chores and woman cares
and differences with the neighbors.
I don’t recall she ever laughed.
So, babies grew up, moved out, begot their own.
Husband got past midlife, sickened and died.
One saw the house – more than the house –
bowing shingle by shingle through the years,
peeling and shedding, leaning and fading.
But now just a few more hammer strokes to fell the posts
absurdly propping squares of sky
where walls had been.
The junk man frets to haul away the pile.
A blow or two; they give, and look, uninterrupted sky.
Poems of Doris Trinidad, as contained in her book, Now and Lifetimes Ago, published by Giraffe Books, in Quezon City, 2001.
Doris Trinidad-Gamalinda is a Filipina poet who began her writing journey as a freshman writing for the campus paper at the University of Sto. Thomas, Asia’s oldest university. She has eight (8) children from her lawyer husband. One of them is the contemporary poet and teacher, Eric Gamalinda.