On Monday, July 28, The Queen will deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) before Congress. I have not heard her yet, but I more or less know what she will say - that she has a bleeding heart for the poor, that life has become better in The Queendom under her reign, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

No comment yet. I will just share a poem I wrote in 2006 after The Queen delivered a SONA overflowing with promises , half truths and downright lies. So loaded yet so empty. (Remember her "I axe you. Now!" episode with Dep Ed Sec. Fe Hidalgo after the latter publicly revealed that the country lacked more than 6,000 classrooms, a direct repudiation of The Queen's SONA declaration that her administration solved the classroom shortage problem?)

Double Talk

In the public plaza
Every child I meet
Looks like an orphan
Every mother looks
Like a widow
Every man looks
Stripped of pride
All naked, but for the
Threadbare clothing
On their emaciated bodies
All blind but for their eyes
That see their way to the plaza
All deaf but for the ears
That will hear promises
To lift them
from the pit of wretchedness

In the public plaza
You cry over the misery
Of the orphan
The widow
The man without self-esteem
You declare war
Against hunger
Against greed
The crack in your voice as
you condemn inequity
is so
it conquers doubts

You shower honey as you speak
With your unusually long hands,
You wave to the crowd
Of orphans, of widows
Of men stripped of dignity
Whose faces beam with
They have to hope.
What else comes free for them?

Soon, you will return
to the security of your edifice
Where you can be yourself again
I can see you – as in years past
I see you as
you sit on the rocking chair
You unclasp your brassiere
And resume breastfeeding
The greed of the few

I heard you say, “I’m sorry” when

nothing was left to be said
You struggled against tears
Why did not the
At the back of my neck
Stand on their end
As they often do
When I am touched
the hand of sincerity?

I walk away from the public plaza
Feeling heavier
than before I went
Wondering why I went there
In the first place
When I knew I would just witness
The funeral of truth again.

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