Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence



By Myrna Peña-Reyes

My father set them deep
on ground he treasured,
and what he saw, my father favored.

He fertilized, propped up, pruned
and sprayed; willed them decades,
wind and weather permitting,
centuries of bud and harvest,
and what my father saw, he favored.

My father’s trees withstood the fickle
seasons: drought’s cracked-earth cradle,
windstorms, typhoon’s soggy bed;
gave shade and fruit,
bore birds and children,
and what he saw, my father favored.

We gave our word, our hearts are breaking,
another owner’s will, the orchard’s lot.
What my father saw, he favored,
ax and saw he saw not.

Generation to generation hereon,
disquieting the neighborhood,
the chain saw’s labored whining,
the ring of ax on wood.


Myrna Peña-Reyes, born and raised in the Philippines, lived in Eugene, Oregon, for 35 years where she received her MFA. She won the Oregon Literary Fellowship for poetry from the state’s Literary Arts organization. Presently retired with her husband in Dumaguete, Philippines, she is part of the literary scene at Silliman University. Her two books of poetry are The River Singing Stone and Almost Home.

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