let me sing for my supper

by jenniferbalboa

Supper time last Valentine’s Day – day almost done, a good amount of work accomplished, and I was hungry. A few minutes after I realized I had but a few pesos left to see me through the next few days, I chanced upon an essay on Edna St. Vincent Millay, telling about how her heart was her muse, how she had so little to start with, how she chose to be wise and made the most out of things, how she wrote to the end. Then I remembered that harp weaver ballad of hers, so I went through my bookshelf to look for my Millay book, to read the poem again. After reading the ballad, I leafed through the book a little bit more, skimming over the love poems. Harp weaver ballad was no love poem. I wanted something cheesy old. Anyway, it was Valentine’s Day too. I turned one page after another, and another and another. And right at the end of the book, tucked between the last two pages, was a crisp, new edition hundred peso bill. Must be one of the firsts of its kind that I saw so I saved it. Must have been quite a few years ago, because I remember reading the Millay book all the way back when I was still working in the courthouse. A hundred peso bill is not so much, can amount to just one very good and filling meal if I spend it wisely at the lutong bahay food strip in the neighborhood, but still –

Money from poems on Valentine’s Day. It was not even about the money. I was receiving something unlikely from somewhere unlikely in a time when I was feeling uneasy. Alright, hungry. Alright, afraid. But there it was, that little hundred peso bill that for all I know means nothing, totally forgotten, but can still get me supper, and have been just right there, all this time. Yeah, I ought to read more. More poems. More from poems. From poems. Poems. Who knows?

Right now, I may have to break down the crisp, purple, brand new hundred pesos.

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