My 81-year-old mother believes
she knows the source
for Manny Pacquiao’s strength:
Shouldn’t that word be
cartoonized! Picture a gloved fist
leaping off the page
to the caption: KALA!
A second gloved fist:
Conclusion? Knock-out! POW!
My mother is frail with diabetes
high (then low) blood pressure,
and weakening heart and eyes.
But her memory is strong:
“Its leaves contain more
anti-oxidants than carrots!”
Moringa oleifera is sometimes
considered a “lowly plant”—
People laugh at those who eat
its leaves because of its stink.
“You can tell a person ate
kalamungaw for its effect on urine.”
These details are all delivered deadpan
by Mom who grumpily survived
World War II by foraging for and
eating the often-derided kalamungaw—
“it elevates the chicken.”
My mother has seen much, but not
Pacquiao’s urine. Still, she follows
his piss through many periodicals.
By the way, she emphasizes,
kalamungaw goes great—
Pow!—with much vinegar.
© Eileen R. Tabios