In the blazing heat
 of a Middle eastern sun
 he toils for hours
 away from his family -
 young daughters and wife
 loved from a distance.

Birthdays came and birthdays went
 ten years had gone by
 hugs and kisses were given
 through their Facebook posts
 accompanied by pictures
 with happy faces
 concealing their longing hearts.

Each bear the sadness
 for dreams of a better life -
 good education
 for the girls, now young women
 little luxuries
 providing simple pleasures
 and good memories
 as he can give from afar.

He waits and he works
 his hopes in the desert sands
 to be home at last
 assuaging homesickness
 with virtual presence
 each moment it's possible
 'til no screen is between them.


Thanks to Gayle’s Dverse prompt – The Choka – I am glad to finally break a blogless spell.  Lack of time (to think, writer, and visit blogs) and inspiration kept me away for weeks.  I do not know how often I can post with school resuming and a needy baby  starting to walk, but I hope to keep this page and friendships alive somehow.  Ah, my belated wishes for a happy and wonderful new year to all of you.

The inspiration for this piece is a cousin who now works in Israel and has not visited his family for a long time.  The title, OFW, means Overseas Filipino Worker which the Philippines, due to her economic situation, has plenty of.


Meanwhile, the Choka, according to Gayle, is a Japanese form poetry that tells a story.  It has an indefinite number of lines but the lines alternate between 5 and 7 syllables.  The poem ends with an extra seven syllable line.  For more of Choka, please visit the link above.



24 thoughts on “OFW

  1. I know stories like these as well…away from the family in exchange for providing them with financial stability ~ I hope he will be reunited with his family soon ~ Good to see you back Imelda ~ Happy new year!!!

  2. Oh, Imelda, such a sad plight for a young family to have to live apart and just visit through Facebook. I’m very glad that my prompt could help you feel inspired to write something. Thank you for that and for adding this story today. Happy New Year to you!
    Gayle xo

    1. Hi, Mabel. 🙂 Hello and a happy new year to you. I hope you are doing well. How’s the book going? I am sorry I have not been by your page lately. Life is just crazy here. 🙂

      1. I stopped working on my book in the middle of last year due to the challenging year. But I have been working on other things 🙂 Wishing you peace in your hectic life and I hope all will be well with you, kids and the family ❤

  3. so glad you have find some time again for your poetry – a salutary choka for those who are lucky to live and work as family. The aridity of the scene echoes the dry tears of long separation

    1. Thanks for coming by, Laura. I am glad to be able to have a piece after a long time, too. Sometimes, I feel sad to be unable to write. My family was an OFW at one time. When one is in that family, one learns to accept the separation (and even the costs of it). Sometimes, the family unit does not hold together in the long run.

    1. Oh, you’ve been to Manila, my crazy, beautiful, messy city. I can imagine why there’d be expats in the shipping business over there – Manila being a port city and all. I have been away for far too long to know what;s what and who’s who in that beloved place anymore.

      1. Welcome Imelda. The topic of OFWs is one I am deeply passionate about. We all know the stories, first hand experience or otherwise, that our OFWs are oftentimes collectively looked down upon in other countries, but are considered individual heroes in their own homes – as fathers, mothers, siblings, children….. Your prose captures the emotions of their struggles – well done!

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