A yellow leaf -- or, is it a butterfly? --
Has alighted on my shoulder this autumn morn.
I am going back, by myself, to the old path
And my remembrance dispels the haze lorn.

Pitying me, separated from the cosy abode,
You passed long distances to visit me here:
Our mother country is you, Ha-Noi City --
Lotus tea, green rice flavor -- loves so dear.

In the shimmering afternoon sun, you combed
Your hair that fluttered - the light girlish strand.
Thru the doorframe, I sat contemplating you,
So heart-warming as back in our homeland.

You came -- those days just grew yellowish;
Now, fall has dropped dead leaves all around.
Missing you, even the river flow is desolate:
Then there, now far-away -- just to confound.

Time spreads yellow leaves on every side;
Thinking of you I feel by sadness seared.
How I remember -- in the clear moonlight
Being beside you, sister, my very endeared!


      Vietnamese poem by THU MINH

      English translation by THANH-THANH