Roel Christian Yambao


The moon in these parts is but a dot of gold.

Ye-ye told me it was the spirit of the old lady who used to live in this house. The stars were the jewels she used to deck her hair. There were pearls and ruby and jade and all were beautiful. Our ancestors saved a few before they before they became stars. They were in Ah Ma’s jewelry-box now.

The moonlight was her tears; the sky her hair. The moon is always sad, Ye-ye said, because she chose to be young forever and remain eternally beautiful. She was a foolish lady.

Gazing at the sky from the window of my room at our house on the hill, I dream of Mei-yue, her flowing hair black and long coming down from the sky. I thank her spirit: she was foolish then: she is with me now.

August 2014



Note (May 2016). I used Ye-ye instead of Ah Kong to mean grandfather in my ignorance of Chinese. Ye-ye is putonghua, while Ah Kong is a Philippinized form of Ah Gong (or a idiosyncratic version of Peh-oe-ji) which is used throughout the south.


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