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This is my other world
An extension of the kitchen
And the living room overflowing
with unread books.

I loved to hear my grand kids
Laugh and shout
And throw waves of water
At each other
in our improvised pool.

I always seek refuge
in this patch of green
When you realize
You can no longer see them
In the near future
Until The Virus has left the universe.

With the advent of the scourge
This is where I contemplate
The coming penniless months.
as you remain hopeful
you can manage poverty
With dignity.

In the garden
is where I celebrate
Small glories and private sorrows.
Trophies and award nights
And the house and car you will never have.

One morning
I decided to have coffee in the garden
Upon learning
Tom Hanks survived The Virus
And spent the day
Doing the dishes
And folding the laundry.

You cheer the survivors
in your own country
and remain sad
for those nowhere to go
with hospitals full
and food supplies are running out.

Of course you are unnerved
when a distraught housewife
declared on evening TV:
“pero mamamatay naman kami
sa gutom!”

Which means:
from the virus
but the truth is
who will open the door
when hunger starts knocking
and consume us all?”

I saw a survivor on TV
recalling his lonely hours
at the quarantine quarters.
Yes he made it
through the night
and was just simply happy
to be alive.

In my garden
I bury my hatred
and find a new way
to define acceptance
and just go on with
the uncertain life
such as it is.

After all,
the best and the worst
of people are at their
most naked selves
for all to see
in these desperate times.

A private time in the garden
Is my way of celebrating
people’s new lease on life
while we continue to smell
Mthe stench of pestilence and death
In private quarters and hospitals.

Over a cup of coffee
You remain hopeful
You can still write books
And catch memories of youth
in the island.

Over a cup of coffee
You remain hopeful
You can still write books
And catch memories of youth
in the island.

In my garden is also where
I come to terms with myself

Warts and all.

Pablo Tariman (March 25, 2020)

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