I Read Your Name: A War Requiem

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I read your name
Written on a wounded tree
Barely standing on the lakeshore
I gaze at the sadness of its former shadow
That remains in the memory of birds
And in the spirit of the water
Bravely kissing traces of its roots

I read your name
Written on a child’s brow
Torn and ripped away
On the ground
Strewn with bullets yesterday
On stains on rough terrain
As mothers dig up daughters missing
On faces of men waiting
For sons dying and dead

I read your name
Written in a cave
Where once creatures bore their young
The shade of goatherds now become
An arsenal of destroyers
A hiding place of killers plunderers
A desecrated womb a sore
A tomb a tomb.


Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Ma. Ceres P. Doyo has been a journalist for more than 40 years. Her written works have won numerous awards, among them, two National Book Awards for Journalism (2015 and 2022). She writes a weekly column, “Human Face,” for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.


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