At Giardino Rossi

At Giardino Rossi
before I sit to rest,
a pair of little boots trip
on cobble stones before me.

Swiftly within a flutter,
a tan, domestic hand swoops
down to scoop the baby
to the comfort of her breast—

La passerotta e ang
mayang ina ng bukid—

For no more than the glancing
of west and eastward trolleys
our faces meet each other
and mirror the unhid—

Eyes big as the Pacific—
chestnut skin and dark hair same—
Migration takes us far, but
affirms the home within.
  1. Tanaga – a Filipino poetic form of seven phonetic units in four lines, similar to a haiku
  2. Giardino Rossi – a park we wandered into while visiting Milan, Italy on vacation
  3. La passerotta e – “The little sparrow and;” passerotta is an Italian term of endearment
  4. “ang mayang ina ng bukid” – “the rice field sparrow mother” in Tagalog
  5. “maya” – a Filipino folk taxon of a common bird seen in the Philippines
  6. There are 2.2 million overseas Filipino domestic workers worldwide
  7. The Cost of Caring by Rachel Aviv: a story about a Filipino woman going to New York to be a domestic worker
  8. My Family’s Slave by Alex Tizon: a story of a Filipino immigrant to America realizing his family brought their slave from the Philippines
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