Date of Birth
On the scorching final day of March
1969, multiple copies of a government document
were made to mark the birth of a child
just in time for afternoon siesta.
Though it bore his name,
chosen for him without asking
his consent, and the time
and date of his arrival, his weight,
the document said little else. Leaving him
to one day wonder whose hands
had pulled him out of his mother’s
flesh. Was that person careful
not to hurt him as she forced
open the child’s fists while counting
his fingers and toes? Did she listen
with her good ear as he took
his first breaths, listened as air
explored his lungs for the first time?
Was it a slow and intimate moment
or was the operating room
quickly wiped up and prepared
for the arrival of another child
before he could even test the limits
of his throat? Did she return
to see if he’d survived
his first hours? Or did she rush
home to her own?
Years later he would carry
a certified copy of that piece
of paper to prove his existence
to officials. But he himself
has no memory of being fished
out of a sea of watery darkness
to be held up in the humming
This poem was written on 22 September 2016 (1324-1402) for the days of stone website of my good friend, Ryan Stone, who lives in Australia. One day I hope to finally meet my friend in person and thank him for reading my work and encouraging others to do the same.
If you are interested in my writing, my new book, Wings of Smoke, has just been released and available through various online retailers like Book Depository, Amazon and my publisher, The Onslaught Press. Readers in the Philippines may contact via Facebook my Manila-based publisher, UST Publishing House.
Writing starts largely as a solitary act. Any writing may as well be a leaf pressed by the elements between sand turned to stone if it is never read. Today I thank all those who have spent time with my words.