Waling Waling, or if I were sampaguita

by Vera Pavlovich


                              after Matty Layne Glasgow


I’d be in royal gardens and graves adorning the
living and the dead in my purity and simplicity.
I’d be embroidered into veils and Filipinianas.
They’d feel beautiful wearing me. My life would
be long, generations caring for my petals.

People have traveled great distances carrying sampaguita. The versatility
of use - tea and décor, won every time. I should’ve invaded a land, flourished,
and towered the mountains. I could’ve been the

national flower of Nepal. I could reach the
highest point of a mountain, a hill, and extend.
I am worshipped by some, and forgotten by
most. I want nothing but to live, and grow,

my pink and white petals, tall enough to kiss the sun.
I’ve always loved their brown skin, but sampaguita won.


back to University & College Poetry Prizes