As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Verna Zafra – Poetry


We crossed into mountain-backed fields
It was my first time;
Theirs, they had lost count.
Like hardened soldiers,
They trudged the paths
Of sword grass,
Retracing the steps of their mothers
And brothers and fathers –
The vague ghosts of my bloodline.
And with graceful dexterity,
They put their tools to use.
Tools that tilled and weeded,
Tended and sowed,
Indifferent to the black mud,
Even to their own calloused abuse.
I looked on in awe
Before looking down
At my own tools:
Smooth, white,
And in that moment,
I realized,
They were hands that did not know.


Ghosts in Her Stomach

Fingers pressed lightly
Into a belly stretched taut
Her mind on the loss,
Which rested bitterly close.
She held ghosts in her stomach


Verna Jayne Zafra

Born in the Philippines and raised in Guam, Verna Zafra is a young Filipina who is constantly looking to grow and improve as a writer. She has a love for poetry – both written and performed – that she shares with others through service. She has been a mentor for Sinangån-ta Youth Movement, Guam’s official youth slam and spoken word organization, since 2010. Last year, she became the organization’s Program Director. Verna recently received her Master of Arts in English from the University of Guam, where she also teaches part-time.

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