My grandmother makes brew
Paregoric, Methiolate, Penicillin


Her hands quick day and night
concocting for the only botica
Farmacia Luz.

“A forbidden island!” they tell
with only myths of mermaids
and encantos –
grows an elixir of seaweeds, gold, and
working hands stretched
over the Pacific Ocean

A fountain of spring sprinkles
in a town once alien

“Hare mo kami paglingawan, O Maria.
Hare mo kami pabayaan huli ta kami sa imong aki.”

And whatever becomes of innocence
is a grip between the thighs of mountains
in my grandmother’s home of virgin islands
nature has become our free hands
our tough hands
and the big-boned giant.

/rosevoc. march 30, 2017 –
for my grandmother +Luz Palencia Alarkon
First Pharmacist, Caramoan Camarines Sur

photo from the internet


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