In Catholic school I was told the parable about three large trees

cut from their roots and turned into lumber

Uncertain as to what they would become. 


The first tree was used to create a feed box

Where a farmkeep’s animals ate 

Until one night a virgin in labour 

Birthed her son and placed him in the manger


The second tree became

not an arc, but a simple fishing boat

Never to see adventure

Until a man calmed the raging sea to save his disciples onboard


The third tree was processed into large beams

With no real use in mind, they were left to rot

Until a man carried a makeshift wooden cross through the streets

Was raised up high

and left to die


By this logic, consider a fistful of stones 

on the shores of Mactan Island 

finds itself crushed, refined

Transformed into metal

Unknowing that it would be moulded and sharpened to a tip

as blades and spearheads

And those blades would tear through the armour of Ferdinand Magellan

As Lapulapu and his army 

and their blades and spearheads

claimed the life of the explorer

and staved off the colonial project for over forty years


In this moment

retribution tastes like a blood stained spear

Metallic, a mixture of copper and iron

The damage was done eventually, yes

But why does the aftertaste—

The vengeance of a fistful of stones

linger in my mouth 

500 years later