POEM: The Unspoken Child

BY JIM PASCUAL AGUSTIN

My mother never spoke of him,
my brother who wasn’t born
with the right number of limbs
or everything that was supposed to be
under skin. So my sisters made a stew

of what we didn’t know.
His eyes were coins struck
with father’s hammer. Engine grease
oozed from his forehead
which reeked of overripe guava.

He had no lips,
but he could mumble
my name: “Mmm-mm!”
“Mmm-mm!” And I would know
he was calling out “Jimboy! Jimboy!”

It was lonely
under the shade
of the mango tree
despite the coming
and going of ants.

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