Tiny - Posted on 19 June 2011










Finally living back in the island

Domain that birthed you,

All you did was

Share the gift of medicine

And comfort the sick.


The very thing you loathed most

And rose against on the daily

Found its way to you.


There was no way to predict

What barged through that front door.


Everything grew dark.

Then you vanished from sight.

Then you re-appeared

After six days

A whole new woman


Visibly shaken.


Viciously bruised,

Thoroughly shaken,

Effects from the seed of terror

Your captors laid within you.

The pain shows in far

More than battered, cyanotic brown skin.


You wear it like an agonised

    tear-streaked shroud

In public appearances.


Nevertheless, you move on.


The fiends that left you


Visibly shaken


Were determined to break your spirit

Into millions of

Scattered, glittery shards

Across the interrogation room floor.

Aggressive questioning

Linking you to what you

Have no tangible link to.


Nevertheless, you hold your ground.


You are Melissa.

Melissa. Melissa. Melissa. Melissa.

You are not ?aita

You are not with New People's Army.

You are not with the Communist Party.

You are not the property of

The Philippines

The United $tates.

Your human rights should be respected.

You will not enter their fold.

You will not let your faceless captors

Or any man overpower you.

Your body is not theirs to smash

Like some hated plaything.


Under torture, you died

Piece by piece

Thousands of times over

And resurrected from it all a woman


Visibly shaken


With a stronger resolve.

Keep sharing your tragedy.

Your voice is the new voice

For the disappeared still unsurfaced.

Justice shall be yours & theirs.

W: Kwanzaa 2009

[ For Melissa Roxas*.]



*On May 19, 2009, Melissa Roxas, an activist and poet from

Los Angeles who had been doing volunteer work in

Tarlac Province in the Philippines, was kidnapped along with

two other health volunteers for a non-governmental nationalist

group called Bayan.



[ From the new anthology book “Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts: Volume 2, Number 1 edited and published by Daniel Yaryan. ]


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