Michael Balili (1983-) is currently the president of UP Quill, and a fellow in the UP Writers’ Workshop. In this poem, the persona narrates how two people took the life of a poor dog. The driver and the passenger finally killed the animal by running back at it after they had agreed that “it was only a dog.” Thus, they ignored its cries and considered everything as silence. This shows the humanity’s insensitivity on those that do not interest us. An example of this is the part where a door creaks and the Reader checks it if it’s just wind.
Like the dog, the Filipino people also suffer from some politicians’ egotism. The most recent political row involves Sen. Jamby Madrigal and DENR Sec. Mike Defensor regarding the deforestation problem of our country. The argument has gone to the personal level, “shutting itself the outside” and leaving the environmental and safety crises unsolved and the Filipinos “slowly dying.”
Neil Jameson O. Sta. Isabel
THEY'VE KILLED A DOG
and asked each other, the driver and the passenger,
Was it a dog?, in unison,
then one after
the other = Was it a dog? / Was it a dog?--
And they heard a sound
of pain. The sound of pain
is very recognizable, as well as the sound of pleasure. I shall never
describe it gentle Reader [Maybe
a door creaks now
as you are reading this and someone enters,
maybe it's just wind
but you'll check if it's just wind
and close it shut].
And so they agreed that they've killed a dog. You've killed a dog,
the passenger said to the driver.
So the driver revved the engine and ran back at the dog
while the passenger changes the radio station.
There was a loud cry like a loud bang
of a door before it shuts itself the outside.
They considered the sound of the engine and the FM as Silence.
Then they fluently rode away in fourth gear
never to remember this significant.
[They could've just let the dog die a slow death but they didn't.]
[And you went to check the door if it's just wind, didn't you?]