Lorna Billanes

(Quezon City, Philippines)


In the garden, bamboos arch
to the slightest wind
and the sun hides its face.
The smell of the earth after the rain
brings memories of monsoon and mushrooms
growing among clumps of rain-kissed bamboos.
This was how Mother wove tales about it:
In the days of old, when saints lived among townsfolk,
there was a housewife at her wit's end.
She had more guests than her larder could feed them
and all that was left was a piece of dried meat.
'Chop it up and scatter among the clumps, ' a well-loved saint said.
This, the housewife did.
Soon after the rains, a myriad of mushrooms
sprouted among the weeds.

I see Mother harvesting the fragile sprouts
sprung from the earth
not quite like a flower,
and not as resplendent as a rose.
How she must be rejoicing at this bounty-
the many delights she could create with her hands.
Even now as she gathers them in the folds of her skirt,
she's whipping up songs for this blessing from the earth
saying praises to its name: mushroom, curacding.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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