He left for Manila one day in April.
Said good-by to the principal street in town,
To the tall, austere cathedral beside it.
At home the evening before,
His mother and he a seedling in the back-yard planted.
He stayed in the city seven years and came back in April.
He strolled in the town as he often had
With friends in his youth, years ago.
Calle Real was an alley at the brook commencing,
Ending, parted in three at the rice-fields.
By the alley a chapel stood.
The seedling he sowed, his mother beside him,
So tiny then when he left for Manila,
To a flowering tree had grown.
And the tree by the others called sampaga for seven years,
He called love,
And his mother kissed him, calling him love.
From Manila: A Collection of Verse (Imp. Paredes, Inc., 1926) by Luis Dato. This poem is in the public domain.