An unfinished portrait


Of you sits at that far corner
Of the shelf, waiting.
Long began in those days
When news were shards
I could not piece together
Only that edge of fact that
Pierced and pained and Angered –
They took you away
Like others, you had gone
To fend off the fear,
The strokes were fervent, Like a prayer
Searching, evading the dark.
Brush and tubes knew well
The lines on your face, the
Colors of your stories
Images of our times
Mirrored in your eyes
And the smile that knew
The warning, the signs.

I peer into this work that paused,
That waited for a final touch
Years have not eased the Restless vow
To return to the easel
Now gone silent, uncertain.
Some things remain still and Constant, tempered at will
Like a canvas stretched for a
Complete story.

For James Balao, on International Day of the Disappeared
Aug 30, 2014

-tula ni Luchie Maranan


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