Taludoy - Poem by RIC S. BASTASA

he last saw me when i was
four years old, barely able to walk from
a rare disease,
he was father's side kick
in the farm where flood rises
and they would have to use
boats to plant the rice.
he couldn't believe how i have become
so unlike of myself as a boy,
i have a big body now, and speaks
too fluently their own language,
father spoke their language
from the heart
but he was so cruel then
beating him with
a bamboo stick,
he did not cry though as
expected from a brave brown native
of the subanen tribe
known for their resilience.
Uncle Peping wants him evicted
and he has nowhere to go
only this land that his father
entrusted to him as a tenant
of the third generation.
i said he cannot leave just like that
there is a law
between us, from where i started as
a boy with a sense of
charity and
indebtedness of the past.
He taught me how to ride
the buffalo and
then he let me go fall
into the river
and swim
all by myself, alone unafraid
about the mythical
child-eating crocodile.
Now his life in in my hands.
And i must not
fail this time.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 7, 2010

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