FOR MY MOM'S LAUGHTER
up the handset I was stunned with surprise:
Whose voice as light as falling leaves in cold skies?
Isn't it ten years, ten odd years, dear mother,
Just in silence to miss and long for one another?
I left without any promises or pledges that day:
The old wild horse from its forest-land went astray.
Ten years for Mom's hair to turn mourning white,
And mourning-like my soul also in such a plight.
You've still been sitting there weaving your pain
By an existence of slapping wind and beating rain.
I've set off to set up from all directions a pyre
In order to disperse the mist for life lighting a fire.
Your voice was broken off, you choked up, I found;
Mom's endearing words or mere in-reverie sound?
You are too far, how could I reach out for you?
And when could we meeting again look forward to ?
Do not cry, my dear mother, and continue to await.
All my grief I will hide in the rhymes I create.
Of all my sorrow I will write reams and reams,
And find your warmth my warmth in my dreams.
As I picked up the handset how astounded was I
To hear my mom's voice sadder than the rainy sky!
Should I be able to give up Man's time in hereafter,
I would offer mine to recover my mom's laughter.
Vietnamese poem by TRẦN TRUNG ĐẠO
English translation by THANH-THANH