Walk wounded.
Healing takes time
You do not have.
You’ll heal along the way,
Or you will have to, if
You want to be ahead of
The wolf at your door,
The difficulties keeping pace with you,
And the angels who hold you up
When you’d otherwise fall.

Walk wounded.
It slows your pace,
Gives you reason
To observe more keenly,
Count your steps,
Make every movement
Count for something

Because you won’t waste
The pain you feel
From each heel,
Through your soul,
To the very roots of your hair.

You won’t waste a thing
Because each thing costs
So much more,
Demands everything,
Often more than
You think you can afford.

Walk. You still can,
Wounded as you are.

You still draw breath
And your fire burns
That much brighter
For every

You are alive
Where others have died.



The weight of your heart
Is immaterial. You keep going
So long as it keeps beating.

The weight of your heart
Remains the same,
No matter how heavy
You think it is.

It weighs as much
As it has to,
And you will always
Have the strength
To bear its burdens.

All you need to find
Is the grace with which
To walk with that heart,
Weight be damned.

You live. Keep going.



Carving a roast
With a honed knife:
Set on the breast first,
Slice it deep, into moist slabs
For the man at the head of the table,
And the woman to his right.

The smaller parts go
To the younger ones,
Who will squabble mightily
Over wings and drumsticks,
Over who gets the juicy tail,
And wail that it is always
The favorite
Who gets the bigger half
Of the wishbone.

Slavering lip-smacks,
They can taste
The savory juices,
Feel their teeth sinking
Into hot flesh broiled in its own fat,
Seasoned with salt and spice.

All they will leave are
Bones sucked dry of marrow,
Nothing left for the pets.
All that cannot be consumed
Will be thrown into the bin.

They carve up countries
With just as much ease,
And the poor, ragged masses
Are the gnawed up bones.
The rich have already been eaten.



Alma Anonas-Carpio

Alma Anonas-Carpio


Palanca winner (1994), Palanca judge (2001); treasurer, Manila Critics Circle and judge in the National Book Awards. Journalist, cook, catmom, mother to twins.