For Bettina, who loved this piece. I still miss you.
The winter light is gold,
Like a million bucks, pouring
Through the dust and grime
On my bedroom window, brilliant, blinding.
I can never get enough light in winter:
I need bay windows and track lighting
And 150 watt bulbs everywhere.
Maybe we are plants after all
Bushes with feet and thumbs
Doing whatever it takes
To make it 12 noon all the time.
I have spent years in half-light, obscured,
Not quite able to make out the details
Stubbing toes and banging into unseen corners
Trying to find the switch.
But this new year, let there be light
And plenty of it.
Let there be desklamps to study by
Candles for whispers and silence
Spotlights to perform under
And most of all, sunlight, pouring
Onto our golden, growing bodies.
— r. panganiban, december 1995