Amazingly, my country has become
One when I was born and one when I grow old.
over the ocean, there was the monsoon
and fragrant during each sultry noon;
here, heaven and earth covered with snow
freezing all the winter has to undergo.
my innermost I cannot feel relief;
and memory digs deeper the source of grief.
is where I came into being from surd,
Mom’s lullabies, lisped Dad my first word;
I had suffered much humiliation,
many obstacles to reach this destination.
that I have resettled in this place
experience torment counting days pass apace;
at old age trying to babble halfway
syllable difficult to read, each word hard to say;
motor cars for even each short distance
still uncomfortable with convenient assistance.
homesickness and expectations boil;
dreams attach to the native soil.
it right? that I have got two ways,
my thought also between two directions sways.
will there be a
whirligig of time
the two streams to join in
place of birth there
and a place of
I have to accept having two countries equally dear.
Vietnamese poem by VÕ ĐÌNH TIÊN
English translation by THANH-THANH