Massacre in Maguindanao
Birds flee from reports
Riddling the sky to a sieve.
Ants scatter from the stampede.
Stray dogs race tail-tucked
Into the woods of relief.
Look closely and a spot
In the bark might blink,
Betraying its reptilian blend.
Grief makes a landfall
In a changed clime, washing
Faith’s stone altars. Tides of tears
Rise, rushing into fissures
And crevices where hunger shivers.
To survive, they have to brave their fears.
Creatures of habit, they return
With the jolt stunned in footfalls,
Moving along the edge of recall.
Jonel Abellanosa lives in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poems have appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Burning Word, Fox Chase Review, Red River Review, the Philippines Free Press and the Philippine Graphic magazine.