About the Column:
Poems of Our Climate is a weekly poetry column run by Sofia Baluyut ’23. The column was founded by Oliver Egger ’23 as a part of the literary magazine group Route 9. Submit and read past issues of The Lavender at Route9.org. If you are interested in having your poem featured in this column, Poems of Our Climate, please email your work directly to email@example.com.
Our Bay in Atlantic City
This banig we lay on the silky shore every year—
Once towered over all, flowered as buri palm,
Now dried by the sun, flows by the sea.
In this bay of marbled sand and crying boats,
My Papo sits on the rocks, sways his net,
As the spring sprouts once more,
He waits for the stream to gently hum
The song he remembers from home.
The dilis swivel through the cloudy water,
But we all know—we would rather see them swim
In the boiling, bubbling oil my Lola
Pulls them into and pushes them out of—
A current of neverending flavor.
Papo kicks, splashes, paddles closest to the rope,
We submerge our heads, until our eyes burn,
Until our skin is salt, until our hands reach theirs
The ones he left, the ones I do not know.
This water is the only place that touches
Our home here and our lavishing land there,
Every time we come back, we swim further
Catch more little fish, so that he can say
He still remembers.
About the Poet: Madison Macalintal is a Filipina-American from New Jersey who lives for boba and any food cooked by her grandparents and mom. Her writing is often inspired by water and pieces of her culture influenced by her memories and her family. In poetry, Madison loves getting to choose what parts of her story are truthful and what parts she wants to reimagine for herself.