by Martin Gaerlan
unlike that Thursday eve
of two weeks past
a trinity of planes arrived
44 honored instead of one St. Peter’s rock.
no tears of joy
no welcome waves this mourning morning
no red carpet this bloodied morning
44 St. Peter’s hearses charging barren streets.
unlike that five days of glorious redemption
now one day of national mourning
no faithful lining the avenues
instead from a distance
crying in silent shame.
Unlike six million in joyful celebration
one hundred million in confusion
mercy and compassion or
justice & righteous retribution?
disciples of war or peace?
44 do we mourn for you all
or for our our selves
a nation’s soul unborn?
* Note: the author is aware that only 42 bodies were flown to Manila but 44 SAF perished.