Elmer Omar Pizo

RICE BIRDS

on the ground
in front of your house—
kick­ing,
side­step­ping,
hop­ping
every now and then,
matched by their heads
mov­ing
up and down—
look­ing for scraps
from Grazia
and her month-old pup­pies’ break­fast
of fried rice
and fish pinan­gat.

Mean­while,
the over­cast sky’s clear­ing up.
From time to time,
as they con­tin­ue
in their search for bits
of food—
high-pitched,
but sweet, pleas­ing chirps
escape from their beaks.

In my silence,
they fill my half-deaf ears
with joy so dif­fi­cult
for me to resist,
to explain.


0-28ELMER OMAR PIZO is the author of Leav­ing Our Shad­ows Behind Us (Bamboo Ridge Press, 2019). He was a Poet­ry Fel­low at the Ver­mont Stu­dio Cen­ter in Feb­ru­ary 2006. Pri­or to this, he was also a Poet­ry Fel­low at the 2000 Sil­li­man Nation­al Writ­ers Work­shop in the Philip­pines. His poems have been pub­lished in Hawaii Review, Mag­a­n­da Mag­a­zine, Tayo Lit­er­ary Magazine, Crate Lit­er­ary Mag­a­zine, Mutu­al Pub­lish­ing, PAWA, Inc., Likhaan Online Uni­ver­si­ty of the Philip­pines-Dil­i­man Cre­ative Writ­ing Center, Our Own Voice Online Lit­er­ary Jour­nal, and Philip­pine Free Press.

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