When I remember that fisherman
walking out of our house every morning
before breakfast, I think of
how we seemed too distant, his heart,
as usual, far from my own.
I try to recall it again, that moment
I last caught him stepping out
of the door, walking to the boat.
His back, that looked so strong,
never stooped when walking.
He pushed the boat, that time
slowly and without his usual ease –
as though he was doing it for the first time.
He never tried to look back, only
forward out to the open sea,
then jumped inside his boat and rowed.
That was the last time I saw his back,
not even his face, which knew too well how
to hide affection with his fanciful grunts.
For two nights, Nanay and I waited at the door.
Her neck outstretched towards the horizon,
her tears streaming down.
I watched her cry, and I cried –
not because I missed her husband –
but to let her know I was still there.
Some fishermen found his body
caught in some debris
and delivered him back to the shore.
I looked at his bloated face and remembered
his fanciful grunt that always said:
Do not cry, I am not your father,