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Double-sided Gesture

art by ALISHA JANA R. MORALES
art by ALISHA JANA R. MORALES
 
Double-sided Gesture
by Dianne Alyssa A. Aguirre

Let your thumb speak your judgment about the past in a coin toss,
when He was more than a right-sided face in every five-peso,
and led the Motherland in its first republic year.

A thumbs up could be as double-sided as a flipped coin,
when heads and tails fight for dominance in mid-air
and two opponents are left hoping to win in silence.

The gesture could be an act of approval
to the freemason fighting for independence,
the politician who created truce with Spain,
the president of the revolutionary government.

It could also be an act of condemnation,
wherein you make a fist as if holding a lighter,
with the thumb ready to roll the spark wheel.
From its flame you would smell contempt
for the man who declared self-exile before selling his country,
the leader of Magdalo and rival of Magdiwang,
the one who ordained the fall of Bonifacio.

After throwing the coin,
do not spread your fingers
as you make your decision
between heads or tails, a hero or traitor,
a satisfied nod or an absent lighter.
Let history be heard from your fist
and echo in your thumb.

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