A Worthy Life

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“[N]ow, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.”—Oliver Sacks (July 9, 1933-August 30, 2015)
“That launch made me think and dream again that maybe someday I, too, will write and get published.”—Mae Manalang Sta. Ana on the first book of Chit Roces Santos to the memory of Mae

you went on a Sunday
and your passing was announced
on this space—THE social media

there was even a request
for more Sergio Mendes
to honor you by
but it’s Carly Simon
i connect you with:
“there’s nothing you can do to turn me away”

you had no more strength from your sick bed
to punch a text of goodbye
but like the baroness in Out of Africa
w’’ve always been better at hell’’s
and singing our heartaches out
than indulging the foolishness
attached to leave-takings


Maria Anicia Mae,
at some point you just asked
for prayers from all who believe
and all took to prayer,
including such a one as i,
no matter how incoherent
my implorings were:
that your pain be eased
that you be consoled
by the love of family and friends
by the sound of the gateside bamboo grove
by the objects of beauty
spouse had put up on the walls,
in the nooks of home and garden

you went on a Sunday
do guide us through our grief
the rest of this week
and into the rememberings
this September

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1 Comment

  1. A lovely poem for a lovely soul. Mae will be missed. Thank you Mae for blessing our lives with your presence.