PLACE TO MISS AND LOVE
my departure, I left behind this native land
old streets my thin image’s imprint to bear
the solitary evening the sun had just gone bland
perfumes faded on the lone boulevards there.
flamboyant bloom signaled time of separation;
cicadas’ sounds seemed to sing good-bye.
me the half-opened flower in intimation
school-girl nestled closer to her teacher to cry.
my departure, did the clouds and water schlep?
Rach Ong girl’s laughter resonate whenever?
the Y-shaped Bridge shake under each step?
Tan Quy scenery remained attached forever.
of my friends stood silent and lonely?
suddenly felt cold through my spine and my life
my heavy heart in the windy evening only,
first rain in the last day made me wakerife.
my departure, my soul was filled with dejection;
coffeehouses young lovers would desert fain.
red jasmine flower sweetly smelled affection;
dreamed of meeting my loved ones soon again.
my departure, I left this homeland behind
the beloved and missed indigo-clad and slim.
old connections to me will always be a bind;
In the far-off place my memory none can ever dim.
Vietnamese poem by NHƯ HOA
English translation by THANH-THANH