Simeon Dumdum, Jr.


—For Gingging

He was wild.
In her sixth month, he had the map of the world
Tattooed on her belly.
And then, without saying goodbye,
He left for America.

In her last trimester,
Her belly grew into a tight and shiny globe.
The Northern Hemisphere stretched around
The North Pole of her navel.
She would rub the southern slope of her abdomen
And feel the kick of the foetus
Between the United States and Canada.
And then she would wonder
In which of these countries
He would be now.

Since then she’d had five men
In as many years –
And five children.
This was to keep her hands holding the globe
Of her belly.
This was her only way of feeling the world –
And of going
To America.

SIMEON DUMDUM, JR. is a retired judge in the Philippines, and is the author of 11 poetry books, the latest being Marawi (2019).

Author’s note: “This poem expresses how, in the end, in hope and solitude, one finds one’s true shelter and home in oneself.”

Other works
What is Beautiful Cannot Be Left Behind
The Heart is a Lonely Mountain

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