THANK YOU, MOTHER!

 

    (To American adoptive mothers who

    heartily fostered children of Vietnamese origin) 

 

Thank you, my white-skinned golden-haired mother

Who are not of the same bloodline as me or the other

But you fished me out of the abyss a refugee errant,

Adopted and fostered me with the love of a parent.

 

Thank you for having taken such painstaking jobs

Days after days in warehouses and workshops,

Toiled and moiled extra hours to make me undeterred,

And stayed up late to teach me each English word.

 

Pushing language difference as a bad barrier aside,

You soothed me with your look warm and arms wide.

You are an Westerner and I an Easterner, how rare,

I was such a heavy debt, you volunteered to bear!

 

You knew well that I came from that unhappy land

Where there were many a ferocious and fiendish band

Who invaded the South and confined people to cages,

Brought the whole nation back to the Middle Ages.

 

Since then I had become a nestless nestling in qualm

In childhood to leave Dad and separate from Mom,

I got into the fleeing boat with hot tears dripping wet

Risking my life entrusted to wave crests full of threat.

 

Thanks to your high-sky and vast-ocean love, my fay,

That I could survive until I can achieve success today

And become a dignified human in this second home,

A pride for both our peoples under the azure dome.

 

You are so shining in my soul the glittering torchlight

To enlighten each of my steps scintillating in the night.

Your virtuous advice I will always remember of course:

“Be American but don’t forget your Vietnamese source!”

 

I respectfully offer you this fresh gorgeous bright rose

Suffused with my affection in each red petal to enclose.

On my repatriation kneeling to kiss my native soil soon

I will bear in mind thousandfold your precious boon.

                                                                     

                                              Thanh-Thanh