for Victorio Sugbo y Rojas
Grandfather, you had left long before
You even heard my very first gasp of air.
Only these papers wrapped in
Manila paper are all I have of you.
I had long wanted to see you
And knew this was a long shot.
Father is gone. So is mother.
On my table I place
Your Ateneo diploma de mercantil
Your marriage contract with grandmother
This roto picture when you ran for city mayor
The twelve land titles, your letters to grandmother
This brownish piece of cloth that graphs the streets of our house
This cursive Spanish-worded document with your signature.
I arrange your papers,
Hoping I would see you here.
This poem first appeared in Madras Courier on February 4, 2017.
1 March 2018