By Luis G. Dato

The LA candidates are pretty pearls,
We think, not common, ordinary girls;
Glory and glamour certain they would give
To any court in lands of make-believe.

Purita stands five-six in stockinged feet -­
This for dalagas in itself’s a feat,
But height and build are not the only things
That lend, when we see her, our fancy wings.

She’s not distinctly white, she is not brown
Perhaps the stars, the moon and the warm sun
Strove long for mastery in her, still strive
The hue of her complexion fine to give.

And Emy dear, forgive if words be bold
To your kind ear, but romance grows not old,
You are to us like dawn with silver feet,
At sight to make the fond heart skip a beat.

O there be girls of diverse forms and faces,
We meet them in the most unlikely places,
But all are one, they bruise our heart like roses
Whose scented petal a sharp thorn encloses.

This one is singular, let’s say unique
That through long days and far lands we may seek
In vain –the way she smiles, her voice, her gait —
To hold her, could one want a fairer fate?

And meeting her, we’re lost in rapt surprise
Conjecturing which side of Paradise
We tread –has she descended from above,
Or else do we the realms of heaven rove?

Dear LA muse, what crown of silver to bestow,
That can be fairer than your regal brow?
Still brighter than your crown, with light and grace,
Resplendently shall shine your radiant face.

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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