As we step into the field, know what the elders will tell us:
one will have to outlast the many. We are at the point
of acceptance. Here, nobody says I’m sorry, forgive me.
I think of a battlefield that never was. Green grass continues
to thrive for dewdrops. Weeds covet soil. Shoe prints mark scars
on the ground. Above us: sun-stained sky that deceives
our eyes. Blinded, we all go for recognition. We can only try too hard
or not at all. See the crisscross markings on our skin, thread looped
twice or thrice around our fingers. This point of placement sits still –
there is no suspense, no action. The memory of building what will be destroyed
eventually fades. The instructions leer at us: do not add weight
on the body; put tails for balance, instead. Upon release, neither run
nor saunter. Walk. What does not succumb to threat must follow
in the absence of force. As such, we know war even though
we have never seen it. An airplane passes by but no one else seems
to notice. The truth: we cannot go any higher when strings hold us down.
Now pull to show tension. We always, always want to win.
By Reina Adriano
Reina Adriano is an incoming senior studying BS/M Applied Mathematics major in Mathematical Finance and double majoring in BFA Creative Writing at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.
She was a fellow for the essay in the 20th Ateneo Heights Writers Workshop.
Her works have been published in the previous issues of Heights and Plural Prose Journal.
She is, as always, thankful.