by | May 27, 2018

Daddy walked the miles alongside the
mostly white soldiers
who came to “rescue….”
our homeland.
They marched to the camps
in the footsteps of death
in the death of hope
to where my grandfather died
knowing the history….

At least he died in his homeland….
while having to leave his heart
his child – my mother – alone….
as with those before him
through the devastation of war
and stolen culture
mommy knew the history….
they had no choice.

My father survivor held the history
he spoke of how he
my orphaned mother from a tragic fate
by the hands of soldiers……
the hands of war….
no longer owned by faceless relatives
she walked the miles of expectations of women alone….
her mother passed on while giving birth to her….


Mother knew the history
the hopeful journeys
of women like us…..
devastated roots
at the hands of war
as with those before us
nowhere else to go.

My father came to America
on miles of hope
to the place
where movie stars sang
“the monkeys have
no tails in Zamboanga”
where John Wayne
us “poor brown people….”

My father came
to this place
where he sought refuge
ways to hold the family
to forget the losses
to be working and well
to the place
of “hope”
where he found the sign
“No Filipinos Allowed.”

As a child
I never knew this history
why daddy woke abruptly
His body jerking violently
from what seemed to be a sound sleep
from time to time
with my mother by his side
and mommy got angry
every time.

I struggled through miles of history
marching through what was expected
of women
of my kind…..
my roots intertwined….

I wake abruptly
jerking my body away from harm
elusive to hidden anger
shaken from covert fear
from time to time ….
as my soul holds the history
and my eyes see the despair
in my child
in her child.

I’m not wanting to be
just hoping for the dreams to go away
and for the history to stop repeating
at the cost of those like me….

In my sleep
I can march the miles of unchartered roots
on that treacherous journey of hope
a path
a testament
to the survival of many.