TWO COUNTRIES

 

 

Amazingly, my country has become twofold:

One when I was born and one when I grow old.

 

Back over the ocean, there was the monsoon

Fresh and fragrant during each sultry noon;

While here, heaven and earth covered with snow

White freezing all the winter has to undergo.

In my innermost I cannot feel relief;

Emotion and memory digs deeper the source of grief.

That is where I came into being from surd,

Enjoyed Moms lullabies, lisped Dad my first word;

Where I had suffered much humiliation,

Overcame many obstacles to reach this destination.

Now that I have resettled in this place

To experience torment counting days pass apace;

Here at old age trying to babble halfway

Each syllable difficult to read, each word hard to say;

Using motor cars for even each short distance

But still uncomfortable with convenient assistance.

Awake, homesickness and expectations boil;

Sleeping, dreams attach to the native soil.

Is it right?  that I have got two ways,

And my thought also between two directions sways.

 

When will there be a whirligig of time                        

For the two streams to join in chime?

A place of birth there and a place of shelter here,

I have to accept having two countries equally dear.

 

 

                Vietnamese poem by V ĐNH TIN

                English translation by THANH-THANH