There is a forest beneath my city
A hundred narra and acacia and mahogany
Hiding beneath the streets,
The buildings, the endless concrete.
There are stories of flowers
Blooming through the pavement,
piercing upwards in incrementing movement,
A process taking weeks, days or even hours
After they were buried.
Such soft things can’t deter a planted seed.
A tree is not a flower, yet their branches
Like veins adorned with dancing green petals
Also reach upward, towards the sun.
There is still a forest here, beneath my city
Poking through the avenues and empty lots.
Particles of greenery, before a time
Of noise and smoke and streets
The utterly finite concrete.
Tara Yakob Montiflor is a graduate of BA English (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines Mindanao. He was a Best Thesis Finalist for his poetry collection “The Streets will Not Embrace You.”