The Messy Living Room

1 March 2018

There were times when I arrived in the house
With the living room in disarray, magazines
Notebooks and books as if in a wrestling match,
Chairs facing the floor,
pieces of paper scattered everywhere,
dusty, and at the stairs,
Slippers in a conference,
Ay, I would get angry; I’d swear to the heavens!
I would wake up my children,
How they were good at sleeping,
I’d go to their room, as messy as the living room!
I’d shake them awake.
I’d tell them to clean up—and how true,
How gloomy were their faces.
Were their dreams interrupted
Were they running and playing in the hills
Frolicking with friends
Eating out at Jollibee

But now, when I arrive in the house
With the living room in disarray, magazines
Notebooks and books as if in a wrestling match,
Chairs facing the floor,
I rejoice for I know my children are home;
Later on, they would rush out of their rooms,
Even if they’re still sleepy, they’d raise my hand to
their foreheads in respect, then we’d tease and
laugh at each other afterwards.

For today, in the firstborn’s room
How clean and orderly, how tidy
I say: I’d rather it was messy,
Papers scattered under his bed
As before, when he was here
Waiting for me.


Translation by Ria Rebolledo.

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