DRIFTED MOM'S GRAVE
knelt on this of the river side,
grave was on the other over the tide!
Water being submerging all the field to destroy,
piece of bone floated in the flood pained this boy.
have got in my body some Mom’s bone and blood.
having to watch the surging flood,
was still alive here, Mom already dead over there!
surf was immense, but were you anywhere?
the past You passed away I cried with eyes dry,
Your bones were drifting, my soul the rising high.
water upheaved batch after batch
away the poor thatch;
also swirled away
so golden each day.
remembered the time when I supplicated
follow you to the village market, I duplicated;
took my hand leading me to the hamlet thence
yellow flowers bloomed freshly along the fence;
exclaimed, “Mom, they’re butterflies in a dreamland.”
smiled squeezing my hand.
remembered the pathways
and cows came and went always.
afternoon, the bamboo rows, the sun running low,
played with the slant areca shadow,
lectured me, “Mind your sleep could not be eased,
you’d cry and the Fairy would be displeased.”
remembered the rainy seasons when
winter winds came back so cold wherein
in your arms I lay cowering,
conveyed your warmth of love towering
my sleep to get sound, you satisfied in your profound.
remembered the smooth river to cool down
to the renowned Hội An Town;
washed the clothes each evening without variations,
watched the fish snap the moon and constellations;
time a star moved to a higher location
thrust out my chest so it enters my childish inspiration.
me your eyes seemed dreaming in the sky;
wanted to be carried on your back, you did with a lullaby.
present I had returned: torrential waters, huge waves
doors, whirled homes, swiped caves;
flood swept away my Mom’s grave! How to crave!
bones made the old stream-drifts-to-sea motion
your heart itself is the ocean!
lived a miserable life to give me your love,
you had died; I was kneeling as a mourning-dove
this side; your grave drifted; my nippy soul died.
Mom! How to get over to the other side!
Motherland is submerged—What
My crying in my mind all life could not get alleviation!
Translation by THANH-THANH