Roses are red
By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
DURING the wake of poet Rogelio Mangahas, Ceres Doyo and I discussed about the sniper who shot Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan, Batangas. Who was he working for? Was he a he or a she? So many theories, but it should be easy to find him/her, knowing there are very few snipers around, and their identities are known to authorities, whether they are from the army or trained civilians.
Snipers are a different breed of professionals. They watch their targets for days, even months, as much as they familiarize themselves with the velocity of the wind and the elements that may affect the precision of the shot. They become “intimate” in this way, knowing their target’s every move, what time he wakes up, or sleeps, or who he gives roses to.
And she, on the day of the kill, feeling the adrenaline rush, finally releases that one critical bullet, where she lays him down, on a bed of roses.
wala’y bengatlan maples a timekyab
ya amultot ed kansion
a manlalapud bibil na sakey a laki,
atalagnaw, kamamanta, ambalangan rosas
so nitaldeng ed pagew.
inimano to ni’n simmayaw na daiset
angga’d ag alukbob, tan niparukol diman ya ag onggagalaw
ed hardin ya nismaka’y
ambalbalanga ‘ran rosas.
kabebekta, tinaynan to’y karikaan
a napno’y amagaan iran bulubulong,
a nagmaliw ya punglot
ed andukerukey ton buek.
something flew fast
cutting through the lyrics
from the lips of a man
bewildered, a red rose etched
suddenly, on his breast.
she watched him dance a little
till he fell, and laid there, motionless
in a garden drenched
with crimson red roses.
then she left the grassy field
full of dried crisp leaves, forming
ribbons on her long hair.
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