Hiraya Manawari

Hope it Comes to Pass

by Clare Mercado

Mother and I
Squeezed ourselves
Like sardines in the already full jeepney

Still the driver kept beckoning
Tired and weary passengers
His voice already croaking

We weaved through traffic
But the street’s arteries
Were too clogged we can’t breathe

Across from us
My sister spoke
Swallowing foreign words like it doesn’t hurt

Mother winced
And conversations dulled
To the heavy static of a dying language

When we arrived at the stop
My brothers buried their dialects
Mother shook her head, her ashen hands forming signs

I watched them
Trying to remember
The first words Mother taught me

It wasn’t only the Little Mermaid
Who lost her voice
For faux freedom

Hiraya Manawari
Mother’s hands said
We’ll survive the night.

 

Hiraya Manawari

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