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.