Comparing Heights

FEU Advocate
November 07, 2023 03:49

By Nathalie Melanio 

Pa watched you grow through chalk marks drawn on austere walls. 
Squishy, stubby legs jumping up and down,
Itching to surpass the eyeline of a man once your hero.
Yet to no avail—for you were just a little boy. 

I remember rotund cheeks and sunny giggles. 
A frame sprouted inches taller, reaching my waist. 
Anyhow puzzling—it was somewhat sweet, somewhat bitter; 
Pa wasn’t too fond of seeing you grow up too fast, after all.  

I remember swallowing words reeking of greed,
As hostile strikes of mayhem tore your body apart. 
I remember swallowing words reeking of greed, 
As hostile strikes of sorrow murdered mine. 

Pa guided your legs like he used to when you were young. 
Gluing you in place upon austere walls and comparing heights, 
And as hostile strikes of sorrow butchered my soul, I remembered. 
My son, I wish you had gotten taller. 

(Illustration by Darlyn Antoinette Baybayon/FEU Advocate)