Mother Dream, Sleep On, Sleep On This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 19, 2010
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Mother Dream

Your bedroom door isn’t heavy enough
Not fettered enough or wrought enough
Neither oak nor iron
Or gracefully engraved enough to keep thine divinity in

It takes just a turn of the dented brass knob
Just a feather’s resistance
To drown your face in hallway light

And O, Mother Dream

How pale a face it is
No longer brown like your brother’s
Whose skin melts into the Philippine soil
Like adobe into the mud from whence it came
Where thousands of Dreams had been birthed
Like infants from the womb
And buried
Like stillborns, fists still clutching to the tassels of life

Mother Dream, please, sleep on

Never wake, Mother Dream
My inadequate doorway sliver of gold widens still
Reveals ivory amongst ebony
And light and darkness and blankets play
Over you, through you
You are the Stopper, Mother Dream
You are the pebble that moves the current
We skip and trip over you as if we are still your babies
<i>Ang bata naman</i>, just learning to walk
Even now, as our house in the suburbs slices through wind and rain
Your body stays still, constant, unmoving

You see, Mother Dream?
Even those images on the wall across from you
Shelved upon glass, prized and idolized –
The stout <i>Santo Nino</i> from Prague
Our Lady of Fatima, depicted amongst silver children
Two bottles of holy water from Rome –
Gaze upon your huddled body in awe
Artists stunned by their own masterpiece
Beauty come to life

Mother Dream, should be called Mother Transit
As in: in transit from home to God and back again
Spelling street names and solving multiplication problems along the way
Mother Lullaby
Lover of Beatles and hymns woven into Tagalog
Off-tune in a way only you can manage
And Mother Catcher
Netted, knotted, and hovering above beds
Not only Catcher of Dreams
But of children, and fibs
Of punch-lines, and tiny high-fives that morph into interlaced fists
Of tears, and peals of laughter, and broken-heart fragments
However minute they may be
They are ours, so they are yours

Mother Dream, now Mother Dawn
Not one while still the other
Your first Dreams, once large and gleaming, grand as <i>Pinatubo</i>
Before that eruption a year before my birth
Now sunken deep within the soil of one home
Traded for the possibility (<i>tago-na!</i>) of another
Have made way for those most important
Those sculpted from flesh and bone
Born beneath a sky an ocean away
Screaming and growing and molding into something almost like…

So you paint our hearts with adobe
And compare us to a grandfather who will forever be a comic book superhero
Because you no longer play beneath the sun
With palm-shaped chunks taken out of it
We make our own Dreams now, as you sleep beneath a mobile of yours
Beneath the tide of blankets and nighttime
Beneath the gaze of God and saints
Beneath the whisper of <i>Ta-Tang</i> lulling you back home

So sleep on, Mother Dream, sleep on, sleep on
Rise with a morning painted with love songs
And banish those Dreams of scarlet earth
As new Dreams are born of the coming Dawn

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