This place where wily warehousemen and clerks
traded pots and pans for ermine and marten
This place—Voilà un diamant du Canada—
quartz crystals exhibited back home
This place—the land God gave Cain—
rocky shores now slowly sinking into the sea
This invented America, this illusory kingdom
This place took her.
Her bones lie in hard ground in Vancouver
with kababayan whose markers define her boundaries.
She bought this piece of property.
Truly Canadian now: Daughter of the Soil.
Something made more out of mere discovery.
Something made attractive so as to justify
that transpacific adventure to conquer new territory
where she danced, loved, founded a community.
Life continuum. No ubi sunt, no exiled lament, no loss, no ruin
transforming that displaced Visayan girl who said—
They’re all dead there now.
I have nothing to return to. —-
as we sat over tea and muffins at her kitchen table.
Despite purple skies and golden sand, mother,
you’re not here in Onay Beach in your natal Samar.
The water gasps in and out like the heartbroken woman
whose hanged body gave this name—diin ba ang may nag-onay—
is this where she destroyed herself?
You rejected her.
Empty seashells prick my feet.
At the edge, in the open ending, a mollusk had built
an equiangular spiral, gnomonic, marvellous,
growth curves elegantly expanded shaped by its lifespan,
not a circular spiral for that would have suffocated it
like rope around one’s neck.
Mother’s Line as Logarithmic Spiral
1 February 2013