sleep in my eyes
from a lengthy afternoon nap,
the flip flops on my weary feet slap against
the hardwood floor,
the floor on which my mother and her siblings
and the generation above theirs
walked upon over five decades ago.
“mangaon ta!” my enthusiastic mother waves her hand at me,
motioning me over to the commotion
that is happening in every angle
from my pupils.
the young ones come from the veranda,
where the glass door is open wide,
an invitation for company.
one by one,
the glass dining table is surrounded
by people waiting to fill their stomachs
of the food of their ancestors
and their very country.
i smile as i lean down
to kiss my grandmother’s forehead
before beelining towards my seat.
i sink into the off-white cushion,
my back leaning against the back of the wicker chair.
pleasant aromas and radiant energy in the air,
everyone was eager.
clouds of smoke rise from the pearl-white rice
as the silver ladle knocks on the china.
more and more is piled against the cloud
until the plate becomes invisible,
and my meal becomes a pinwheel
in a suburban garden,
every color of the rainbow shining before me.
adobo sauce poured over the rice,
meters of pancit on one side,
pieces of lumpia on the other,
more foods in the nooks and crannies
of the decorative china plate.
i push food into my spoon with my fork,
and i open wide as my lips close around the spoon.
the sleep from my eyes goes away,
and i feel elation, warmth, comfort.
i look to my grandmother,
the corners of her eyes creating whiskers
from her infectious smile.
i look down the table
at my comedic cousins,
my chatty aunts and uncles,
and let it all sink in.
this is a manifestation of happiness.
this is a feeling of security.
this is where fond memories are made.
this is pure bliss,
and it’s called my home.
read more about Marieska here