Remember the rivulet, Fairy's Silver Hair,
as we called it, where we used to rest and tame
our young dreams and fires,
or to get away from dishwashing
which we deemed appropriate
only for women and young girls?'
We were gods, Narcissi, sailors,
burning with passions,
aboard banana tree trunks, our mighty curacaos,
waving, pointing with bamboo sticks, our swords, our guns,
toward where the river was believed to hoard
its hope and gold and secrets.
Then destiny took its toll: it sent you'or is it me?'
to where life is sprouting green,
to where the past has no roots for nourishment.
As you are, the river too is now nowhere in sight'
a sad wraith, pulse less beneath my feet.
Where is the river going?'we would often ask;
and the answer was but in the now-also-gone
legends and lore of our dear old folks: Eternity.
I stand contemplating its tomb'
a vast pile of rubbish, a slaughterhouse,
a dumpsite for the massacred and raped, harlots' harems,
makeshift casinos and Pedi cab terminus,
a shoe factory owned by a Chinese tycoon who used
to be our town's most famous scrap buyer-seller,
whom people now are considering
to become the Republic's next president'
under which our memory is like an unborn child
clogged in the wormed womb of the fossilized river.
It still flows, though,
eternally, continually towards me, my brother,
and I know towards you too,
flooding us with perpetual smiles: our youth's sole tributary.