Island

When I was six years old 

                                                I visited the Philippines with my mom 

                                                The place that she called home when she talked with her sisters 

A home that I thought of 

When the drive-thru workers hear only an accent

She met with the neighbors of her childhood 

And laughed when she forgot the words for her favorite foods 

Walking down the dusted roads she’d point and say east is the village 

Then correct herself   maybe west

My lola would greet her daughter in a shaky voice 

And cough after her jokes

                                                      She’d grasp my hands and say mahal kita forgetting 

                                                I don’t know the language 

Forgetting   my name   for my aunt’s 

A month passed and we left the ocean’s lull 

And when my mom said we were leaving 

                                                                                          She told me we’re going home

 

COLLEEN HANRATTY

focuses her practice around the human experience and questions of identity. She is currently studying Fine Arts at the University at Buffalo.

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