NGM (Jan.15,1987 / Mabolo, Sugbu)

The Old House

When a house crumbles to itself

the wooden floors and walls long ago

became dinner to termites.

It also ate up sleeves

of little girl's clothes,

the pot handles, the cold stove,

the sagging armchairs colonized

by molds.

When ancient occupants now settled

far away to a place unreachable by foot

each son and daughter

comes back to take his and her

chipped plate, fading photograph,

one-eyed doll, and rusty bike.

They shake it off with dust,

careful to walk on swaying

trusses, dark corners,

soft linoleum floors.

Hurriedly, they pack

memories before the wooden

house crumbles upon


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