(Left) The author’s daughter Kerima Lorena Tariman as a child. (Right) Pablo Tariman leaving the Bacolod crematorium with the remains of his daughter Kerima.

It’s hard to catch sleep
Thinking of the child
In my mind.

But of course
She has outgrown
Her infant years.

She has ended
Forty two years
Of a life
With her brand
Of heroism.

I think of her now
Lifeless on a cold cement
Waiting for her father and son
To claim her
And share
A last hug.

It is strange
That I will go home
With her body reduced to ashes
Before we fly home.

I like to recall
The child in my mind
Frolicking on innocence
With not a hint of a grim ending
Ahead of her.

I like the innocence
In my daughter’s eyes.
I like the angelic face
I treasured
When life was young
If, carefree.

I will soon see
What’s left of her angelic face
When I see her cold body
Lying on the cement floor.

It is belated fond goodbye
It is farewell to arms
It is final curtain call
For the child
In my mind.

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