I HAVE CRIED
began to cry on coming into this world here,
life received me, anyhow for joy or for fear;
thenceforth a small shape, this, has through skips
up out of Mom’s sweet milk and scented lips.
wept witnessing my Mom so poor and miserable
my Dad was doing his soldier’s duty venerable.
sense of sacrifice she kept her heart warm to arouse,
up their kids and also catering to her spouse.
then had to moan when my Mom passed away
the enemy came to hamlets destroy and people slay,
insensible bullets and shells to human bodies sever:
she writhed in agony to part from us for ever.
also sobbed that night, defeated by the hostile drive,
the broken April thirtieth, nineteen seventy five.
frail boats crossed the windy and wavy ocean
carry those souls with resentment-filled emotion.
again mourned for my brother who deceased
the Central Region’s prison, ill-treated like a beast;
ten odd years his belief had become perpetuation,
had not been shaken by the adverse situation.
have lamented seeing our homeland distressed,
place-name a majestic feat – They are so blessed.
many generations our ancestors’ proud display
remains, alas! if not decline, mere decay!
have bewailed all my adrift life – For them, for you,
have cried for my compatriots and for myself too.
and grief aim at our people’s heart to rend,
this poor plight I might continue to cry without end.
Translation by THANH-THANH