by Delora Sales-Simbajon
We used to lift skyward together
our snow-burdened songs
while we rolled cotton balls
for the Christmas tree.
Now, you send me cards with photos
of you beside some snowman.
You appear smiling but I
can almost feel you shiver
beneath your layers. Well, it’s cold
around here, too, though the dust
remains my daily companion
in the jeepney rides to work.
Your latest letter to Mother
here in Mindanao
spills over news of your newest car.
And I grin remembering
how we both bragged
of buying our own someday.
Dollars, it seems, have spelled out
the difference. Has Mother told you
a bank now stands across from our house
sturdier than our favorite acacia trees?
This morning, I thought
it was you driving the fiercely red
sedan that came speeding towards me,
the wind wooing the driver’s dyed
blond hair. Perhaps the wind can carry
my whispered wish: a road to span
the distance from California
to our home.