Uncle is smiling.
He sold his only car
To buy cousin
A piña barong
And a pair of crocodile shoes.

He is to sign his name
In the roll of attorneys.

We took the exams together.
But I can not tell you
What went wrong
Until the score sheet arrives.

Been here in Manila since January.
Tired to scrub the floor
And axe wood at home.

Submitted resume
In law offices in Makati.

I think about the happy
Times, Father.
About the day I was sure
Not to receive lashes
Because you had died,
For example.

But the house smells
Of candle. I can’t bring
Myself to smile.

Mother called.
I’ll sign my name next year,
She reassured me.

I doubt it.

When I think about the exam,
I can not think about next year.
I can only think about why,
When you died, you did not take me
With you.

14 thoughts on “With

  1. shoes come in pairs so “a crocodile shoes” is just wrong…:) reminds me of a sign I came across in one of the cheap restaurants in the province. it goes : “Observed Cleanliness”… sounds right? nah!

  2. line 6: “and crocodile shoes”, or “and a pair of …”
    line 17: “to law offices…” (submitted to)
    line 29: consider “reassured” instead of assured
    line 30: consider “I doubt it.”
    line 34: consider “take me” instead of bring me

  3. This is not a cute poem.

    It’s so dismal I left my office desk after reading it, went to the AguaVida dispenser, and got some cold water to splash on my face.

  4. the barong is supposedly made of pineapple fibers. thus, pina not pena. sorry, with this computer, i don’t know how to make that spanish original letter that is sounded like “nye”.
    ax or axe is good. but axe wood? it jars my reading.
    i don’t know which is more correct, can not or cannot. but cannot is more commonly used.
    otherwise, i like sentimental toned poems. so, congrats!

    to type this: “ñ”, hold “alt” then press “164” for the small and “165” for the capital letter. I have changed my “peña” to “piña”. thanks to you.

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