Fatima Lim Wilson Oct 10, 2008 16:02:03 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 16:02:03 GMT 2
Fatima Lim Wilson
Fatima Lim-Wilson is a Filipina American poet whose book Wandering Roots/From the Hothouse was published in Manila in 1991. Her second book of poetry is Crossing the Snow Bridge (Ohio State University Press, 1995). Fatima's work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies across the United States, and also in France, Japan and the Philippines.
~ for Manuel Fragante, dismissed from his government
post because of his "heavy Filipino accent"
The asuwang has a long, black tongue.
She pokes it through holes in the roof
Rooting for newborn babies. Maria Clara
Totters between the convent spires
Singing in Spanish the lullaby her father,
The friar, taught her. The village
Idiot running naked in the rain chants
The first, middle, and last names
Of all the American presidents backwards.
They are all my mothers. At night,
When the cold burrows in my bones,
They come with bowls of porridge
And unpolished pearls to lay
Upon my burning tongue. Who is my father,
They croon. I murmur in polysyllables:
"Magellan, Hirohito, Macarthur, Ferdinand."
It is when they crowd around me,
Rubbing my blue toes and the hollow
Behind my ears, that I do wonders.
Their eyes drop gems of pride.
Mesmerized, they fold their hands
Into sparrows as their son recites epics,
Proverbs, curses, cryptic cures:
Words dancing like the long, flaming
Tails of extinct birds. The rented room
Quivers. I wake, seismic with joy.
O winter of my speechlessness,
The barely there sun in my open mouth.
My tracks leading nowhere celebrate
My silence. I write myself into the sullen snow,
Heavy booted, with glove imprisoned hands.
Crossing the Snow Bridge, by Fatima Lim Wilson (OSU Press, 1995)
"The Nursing Hour"
Morning. And first light filters through,
Unreeling like an old movie. Complete
Silence whirs, a mechanical bird
Trapped in the ear. Until you cry,
And I rise, shivering from the ice sheets
Of sleep, brought back to life by the summons
Of your hunger. In the short distance
From one room to another. I move,
Metamorphosis of my mother. Somehow,
I know her cues by heart. Just as you know,
Even in deepest sleep, how to harvest roses
From my shapelessness, feeding off the honey
Of my simplest joys, manna of memories.
And I, too am nourished, made a goddess
By your need. Before the day
progresses into its cinematic splendor
And background noises muffle our mime,
Let us rock back and forth in time
Shared rhythm of past clasping its future:
Ocean swirl of the womb, love call
Of the heart's tightened drum.