-An Ode to Soldiers in Mindanao-
They say “Love is in the air”
I’d say love is everywhere-
It can be found in land, sky and water
As love has a malleable character.
But love is of different kinds
Depending on whose heart it emanates from
And its object recipients
It is dissimilar in expressions
and is of varying degrees.
Puppy love sprouts in schools
Where teens for the first time feel a strong attraction
To classmates of the opposite gender
As their hearts in rhythm pulsate faster.
It can spark in bars at first sight
When a pair meets one random night
Or in airports and terminals
Which echo permanent and temporary goodbyes
But it is the kind that soon fades.
Or in the workplace
Where workmates bound by the same ideals
Join hearts in the pursuit of a common call
Making lovers and partners of themselves, forming a type of mature love.
Romantic kind abounds in churches of all faiths
Where vows are exchanged
And promises are made of faithfulness and forever
To one’s lifetime lover and partner.
Or filial type in homes
Where spouses’ wedded bliss is shared
Among children and grandchildren
And even trickles down to indoor plants and pets.
Also in hospitals, where its purest form is felt
At deathbeds where the dying’s last heartbeat aches for the beloved,
Or at their nursery sections Where mothers in their most tender embrace
Nurse their newborns in their bosom.
All these kinds of love are mutual and satisfying
They bring joy and thrill
To both parties’ ends
Regardless of the disproportionate levels, and sad endings for some.
But the rarest and supreme kind is mined
In the hearts of soldiers
now in Mindanao
Fighting the monsters and the beasts and liberating people
Saving lives, and giving up their own.
The Marine and Army soldiers in Marawi’s combat zones
Facing the rampage and bearing all the blows
The Coastguard on round-the-clock watch
Guarding Mindanao seas and the entire archipelago from escapees.
These foot soldiers valiantly fight where bombs and grenades are thrown
The coastguardsmen and navy sleep not
Watching Mindanao coasts in the dead of the night
Tired, but still doing their duty with all their might.
Most unappreciated and underpaid
Torn away from their families for long periods of their existence
Serving the state neither for recognition, nor money, or fame.
Forsaking one’s self, placing all loved ones second only to duty.
If this highest form of sacrifice
Is not supreme of all human love
Then what better name should it be called?
When their breed kills and dies for unrequited love
It is nothing but supreme love – of Motherland.
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