WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL CANNOT BE LEFT BEHIND
So to head for home with nothing,
With no bag, no bread, no water,
Was his vow—to see his folks
As he was, with just the shirt
On his back, but in the air
Was a bird that found his arm,
Which he shooed away, since he
Would not carry any weight,
But the bird flew to a tree
And there sang a song of grace,
Such a song as would remain
And which he could not dismiss,
And it filled him up like bread,
And refreshed him just like water,
Like a bag it held his longings
Which included the desire
To be rid of everything,
Which was heaviest of the loads,
Which was why his mother wondered
When she saw him coming home
Why he staggered as he walked.
SIMEON DUMDUM, JR. is a retired judge in the Philippines, and is the author of 11 poetry books, the latest being Marawi (2019).
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