“The Gathering” by Leila Tualla




I’d like to gather my children and their children’s children


and we’d meet by the shore at dawn.


We would watch the horizon burn as the sun makes her climb.


Out of the water, our ancestors would rise up,


from the jungles behind us, they would come,


until we are surrounded by our lineage of


warriors, of rebels and resistors; of queens and kings


of a forgotten lineage; of gods and goddess, along


with several deities we know as heroes in our fables.


I would look at each of them in turn,


In reverence and in hope, that one day, my children


And my children’s children would keep their legends


by heart. “This is the story,” I would begin,


“of my life and it begins with you all.”


I look to find the one face I have wanted to see: my Lolo


– story teller, grandfather – and I would hold


his hand with pride and gratitude. “It began with you:


your love, your lumpia and your words.”



Leila Tualla is a Filipino-American poet and author based in Houston, Tx. Leila’s books include a YA contemporary romance called Letters to Lenora and a memoir/poetry collection called Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and me. Her poetry is featured in several mental health anthologies and she is currently working on a poetry collection based on Asian American stereotypes and identifies. Her chapbook “PMDD & me,” is out now.