(To Ka Presy, My Captive Comrade-Wife)
Sweet kisses and warm embraces
From me, here in a far away land
Of bicycles, canals and windmills.
I’m sorry to say
There are no mountains here
To scale, but only flatlands to thread.
Yet there are tulips and sunflowers blooming
And flocks of birds flying freely.
What scenery to behold!
But then, often suddenly,
Pain pinches my heart
For I remember you
My beloved captive comrade-wife
And four hundred and thirty more–
Comrades in various cages still
Across our country fondly dubbed
By lording foreign pirates
And their local quislings
As the “Pearl of the Orient Seas.”
Oh, how happy would I be
If you and other comrades
Would soon be free
Like these flocks of birds
Freely flying, measuring
The boundless blue sky.
— Ruben Abenir Saluta
Revised from earlier version
13 October 2016
Utrecht, The Netherlands
(The poet is a National Democratic Front of the Philippines Negotiating Panel consultant. He was a political detainee.)