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Maria De Las Flores
(Hymns for the end of May)
Marjorie Evasco
After EDSA
What brings them here
To your feet, Great Mother, 
all smothered with flowers 
in the bloom of their still
young faces? See their hands 
folding their flame like candles
their lips intoning the verse
acclaiming your perpetual 
help. What could they know 
of perpetual need?

Their mothers and grandmothers 
Watch them march up the aisle
clasping their innocence: 
young maidens in summer 
among the buds, among girlhood
friends who do not know 
the piercing of the flesh,
bleeding dry in the labor
of our common lot. Yes.
The mothers must remember
how the flower stalks smelled
in the small damp palms,
the green sap staining the lines 
criss-crossing telltale destinies.

See the littlest ones carrying 
your frugal icons: veil, cord,
white robe, spring of summer flowers,
as unto a strange wedding, 
the grooms still absent.
As they crowd your altar,
Great Mother of summer sun,
stars, moon and sea, tell me 
why mothers repeat these countless
rehearsals in their daughters,
willing them your litany of powers!
Do they know the constancy
of the balance beam of your justice
tipping the scale down to our burden,
the contrapuntal silence of the lyre 
as your heavenly music plays
dirges to our stillborn dreams!


The mothers must know 
The crown and scepter of your rule
go with the high towers,
where their daughters must stay 
and mold themselves to your 
pure and pallid image,
frozen stiff in stone,
your feet way above our earth,
precarious on that pedestal.


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