island life

(first draft)

Every afternoon while the children are in school
memorizing names of past presidents
and sweating over long divisions,
the women turn to their transistor radios
for a daily drama of loves lost and found
same time, same frequency, same theme song
traveling through open windows.

Their husbands, some are out fishing in the sea,
some sit under palm trees drinking tuba from a wooden cup
Others play cards at the town plaza, while some stay
near the highway to watch chicken buses passing by.

In this afternoon hour, everything moves slow.
Fishnets and clothes swing back and forth
on a line, taking their time in the sun.

* * *
tuba is a palm tree wine in my dialect (Bisayan).


  1. I love the gentle drift here, like the fishnets in the sun. Lovely, Odessa.

  2. Sits me with an unfamiliar yet knowable place, with this tour. Lovely.

  3. How did I miss out on these beautiful poems? Well, better late than never! I love this one, too. The ending is fantastic and leaves the reader with a wonderful drifting sensation. Fish nets and clothes!! I love it.

    I'm impressed that it's a first draft. I wouldn't have known. Excellent details, too. The details describe the people so well. You are very talented, and it's a pleasure to read your work.