Drama in the Boondocks

I am no woman of the boondocks and yet now here I
Am bewildered owner of five hectares of agricultural
Land with a view of the sea and thank heavens high
Ground away from both inundation and the proverbial
Giant of the mountain top where now my vision blurs
At the sight of Charlie halfway up the coconut tree
Amidst the gales of a storm that has passed his slippers
Upon the roots and soil beneath him young Charlie
Is old with wife and many children beneath him mother
And mother-in-law and her mother all past their hunger.

I am no woman of poverty and yet I feel the uncharitable
Lives of these people, the lessons that I have learned
In catechism, the drama of the telenovelas, the palpable
Pain from prize-winning photos of emaciated children
And the visits to urban orphanages and slums, and yes
I feel the drama and see the gritty life of these people
As my own, Charlie up the tree, he stops his ascent less
Than a foot away from the top, and I gasp ready to call
Not to take his own life at least not upon my rose garden
When he swings an arm and pulls out his phone and chats.

Fatima Lasay, San Roque
Saturday, July 4, 2015

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