SLAVE WOMAN OF TARLAC, TARLAC

by Fatima V. Lim

Six months since she arrived
And yet she does not speak
She must have been chained
This I guess from the bruises
On her wrists. But she will not
Let me touch them.
She trembles at the sight
Of tall men, more so at those
With shadows on their lips.

I ply her with green fruits
And with the strains
Of my youth’s guitar,
But she wraps her hair
About her like a robe
Clenches and unclenches her fists
Forming bullets
With the unseen sand.

At night, I long
To draw her to me, to whisper
To her my life’s promise
I will bring back his head
Jutting from the tip
Of his own crecent-shaped sword.
But she pulls away
Withdrawing into the tent
Of her own thoughts, her eyes flickering, re-living
Her thousand and one
Horrors

(Tarlac, Tarlac-A comely 34 year old housewife, who returned from Kuwait last May 9 in a state of shcock, remains at a hospital here still unable to talk..Dr. Lapid said he believed the woman, Nellie Ramos, was maltreated as if begging for mercy, her husband Crispino, a farmer, said.)
Agency report
May 1987