REPENTANCE*

By Luis G. Dato

I have flown over flowers of perfume,
Fondled and touched them before,
I have kissed them so often and hotly,
That their lips seemed unmeaning to mine.

I am haunted by a meaning of petals,
Hovering in vain in the mind,
I am startled by a new significance
The petals convey with their eyes,

I am frightened by the thought that their color
Of pink and white provokes.
I see a red flower, I kiss a white rose,
I pluck not them But my eyes from the sight of these,

I falter to look into them, And fail to touch them again.
Ah! these eyes and hands that have often,
With a gaze, a caress profane, polluted and pure,
What lips are mine to speak of flowers!

I must leave the flowers of morning,
I must leave unprofaned,
These petals consecrated,
To mothers on earth,

To mothers in heaven
From purposed forgetfulness,
I peep on a dawn of flowers which
I Must not see,

I will sleep to forget them again,
As I have forgotten before.

This poem was written on Mother’s Day. -L.G.D.

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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