Just Like Ching
On the passing on to eternal life of my mentor, Concepcion D. Dadufalza, professor emeritus of English and Literature at the University of the Philippines.
by Mila D. Aguilar
Just like Ching.
She would choose to die
The day after Christmas,
On the anniversary
Of the Communist Party of the Philippines,
(Which I doubt she knew)
Ten days after her birthday party
(Which I have never been able to attend).
Just like Ching,
Or maybe just like me,
Not to see her off,
Not to bother to say hello
For more than a year.
Or was it two?
I cannot tell.
I also didn't see her
When I disappeared into
The fastnesses of the cities
Of the nation,
Carrying her Hegelian dialectics with me
Her Teilhard du Chardin,
And most of all the knowledge of hubris
Ineluctably emblazoned on my chest
By her Oedipus Rex
Without the Oedipal complex.
Even after my season underground
There seemed to be no reason to see her
Until I felt compelled
To watch her teaching her Oedipus again
In almost exactly the same way
She had done it two decades before
Only I couldn't remember the answers anymore.
Not even when I started teaching again,
After twenty-nine years, did I see her often.
She was there with me, looking at my students,
Bowing down eye-to-eye to hear every word.
I didn't shed a tear at her passing.
We will see each other again,
At the dialectical end of life (or is it death),
There where there is no hubris.
December 27, 2004