Wednesday, December 7
Shadow

Penny, nickel, dime

by MARIA ALTHEA V. JAVIER

Photo by ETHAN CARDAÑO/THE FLAME

Among the fumes of midday

Beneath golden kingdoms 

And above the wretched metropolis

She spies with her eyes around

With skylines that separate

 

Her pockets jingle 

From what is left of thirty’s stipend

Or was it fifteen’s?

At the kiosk she makes a judgment

As an old lady battling oil splatters 

Then faces hers

 

The sidelines of Manila’s busy streets

Connotes an impending doom

As the old lady takes the pennies,

Her chipped ice cream tub bares the weight

Not of the nickel

But of the familiar hollow sound

Of the daily nothingness

 

The old lady wonders away

Alone in her familiar troubles

Staring at her new silver dimes 

Wondering how far these would go

Even gold ones would not suffice at all

 

As she walks away from the kiosk

Thoughts mirror that of her little vendor

To her children she comes home

 

Amidst skylines that separate

A matriarch also wonders

How long they would survive

Above the wretched metropolis

And beneath the golden kingdoms F

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