Inspect, suspect, respect

“‘NEATH the mango spread of boughs once stood I, accused of shredding cloth fabric with gaze keenly grinding on someone named Donna in a blue blouse in which ample cleavage bared a caliber 38.”

So I swore that just goes to show a fondness to make a clean breast of it— by thoroughly licking and sucking it…and suction should speak louder than words.

If respect can be love in plain clothes—maybe taking hers off as prelude to love more—that mango tree that stands along-side a coconut palm at the National Press Club grounds has donned the plainest attire, soot-smirched and crumpled all over from trunk to twigs… that tree, if memory serves cannot be more than 30 years old.

That means the respect we have accorded to it isn’t rooted in the years, in the countless scorcher summers it has endured, in its constant taking of toxic fumes in the ambient air for safekeeping in all its part. We wish that it was as competent as an Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) that takes in carbon dioxide at an average of 48,000 kilos per year, or a stone pine (Pinus pinea) with a CO2 intake of 27,000 kilos per year.

If memory serves, a mango tree grown from seed starts out fruit bearing at age five.

That tree had offered tons of mango fruits… even if the green ones didn’t come with bagoong (fish sauce) in clusters.

Still limber limbs bowed by the weight of its fruits, a fledgling mango tree elicits a ghost of a curtsy, an equal bow from a fruit picker… so young yet so commanding of respect.

It merely stands, sponging dust and toxic particles off the air, providing soothing shade for passers-by—not a pipsqueak sounds out should a woodcutter chop off its limbs for kindling fires for cooking, or a palm-spread of lumber for low-fetched carpentry or wood carving… not too tough as a hardwood to envisage a saint.

What a provider a man-go tree is! For being so, it commands more than earns respect.

Paano mo igagalang ang sinoman na nagsupalpal lang ng sanlaksang taon at panahon sa katawan pero wala namang ipinagkaloob, inialay na pakinabang?


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