The eagle yet clings to the narra leaves,
the oyster to its pearl. I string you leis
of sampaguita. Come, I bow my head
as you enter this shelter of blossoms.
© Maureen E. Doallas
I wrote this poem in November, 2013, for Hawak Kamay: Poems for the Philippines after Haiyan, a FaceBook group and a disaster-relief poetry project initiated by Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of California, to which poets offer poems of comfort, healing, and inspiration. (In Filipino, "hawak kamay" means "to hold hands".) This is the poem's first appearance on my blog.