ALTERED

By Luis G. Dato

He left for Manila one day in April,

Said good-bye to the principal street in town,
To the tall, austere cathedral beside it.

At home the evening before,
His mother a seedling planted,

He stayed in the city seven years and came back in April.

He strolled in town as he often had
With friends in his youth years ago.

Calle Real was an alley at the brook commencing,
Ending, parted in three at the rice fields,
By the alley a chapel stood.

The seedling so tiny then when he left for Manila,
To a flowering tree had grown.

And the tree by the others called sampaga for seven years
He called love,
And his mother kissed him, calling him love.

Luis Dato
Luis Dato

Luis G. Dato (July 4, 1906 - January 29, 1985) was a poet, writer and educator from Sta. Cruz, Baao, Camarines Sur. He published books in English including Manila A Collection of verse (1926), My Book of Verses (1936) and the Land of Mai in 1975. He also wrote several books and text in Bikol such as, Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963), Cantahon na Bikol (1969), Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times), Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) and Sarabihon sa Bikol.

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