Poetry / July 2018 (Issue 40: Writing the Philippines)


by Abigail Licad

I grew the wrong direction in my mother's womb

a breech baby torn out wailing from her sliced stomach

When I asked my father to name the leafless

grooves branching from my mother's belly—

he taught me the word scar

It will rip open if you are bad and Mama will die once her insides fall out

That was when I still believed in my father

and when I learned that my mother will surely die

Still I kept silent because I wanted them to think me good

Then for days I waited for the scar to rip

I thought about all the ways I was

and knew myself bad

But worry kept me from weeping

It took years before I knew my father had lied

years before I learned I'd only myself to trust

and that badness or goodness had nothing

to do with living or dying

Only that a scar is a shadow of pain once felt

and shadows follow us everywhere
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.