Suerte Suerte

Did you know
     you were pulot only,
         picked up from the stoop 
or from the fork of a tree,
     out of the dumpster in
         the alley, your face
scrunched up like a piece
     of champoy, salted plum
         candy? And did you know
your wrapper was stiff yellow
     though you didn't freeze
         overnight in the wind
or get eaten by wild dogs?
     Lucky lucky, said the nuns
         looking into the milk
carton and finding you under a pile
     of rags. Suerte suerte lang---
         If not for the trash
collector, if not for scissors-
     grinder rapping at the gate,
         if not for the maid who took
you into the kitchen where she fed you
     the pap skimmed off the top
         of a pot of boiling rice.

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