Catalyst

Poetry by | June 25, 2017

(For Nanay O: who first taught me about ‘real life’.
whose tough wisdom only softened me much later;
who loved me enough to hurt me in all the right ways.)

Nanay–
I cannot tell you
how many times
my brain got
in a street fight
with my heart
again.
It’s when I’m at the
height
of the burning punches
that I remember you
most clearly:
the times
you housed me in
and first taught me
spiritual matters.
Through your choices,
you told me softly
yet sternly
that at the start and end
of every
choice:
“Will it make
Jehovah God
happy?”
My forehead then–
would simply
crease.
Nanay–
I cannot tell you
how many wins
felt like a loss
when it
hurts to choose
to be wise,
sometimes.
And there are times
when I’d wish
to go back
to our “summer home”,
with you there
in your profound wisdom,
yet would chuckle still
at my quick, cheeky replies; where
every bruise
would just be a magic touch
away .
So that I could tell you,
Nay:
that the way you loved,
no matter how,
or especially because
it was tough,
that I was changed
and everyone you loved dearly
for the better,
eventually.
Nay, even as a memory,
you linger and mold me.


Anne Shane Marie Baluca currently resides in Davao City.. She is a graduate of UP Mindanao and an instructor at University of Mindanao and a sign language volunteer to the deaf and mute.

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