THANK YOU, MOTHER!
you, my white-skinned golden-haired mother
are not of the same bloodline as me or the other
you fished me out of the abyss a refugee errant,
and fostered me with the love of a parent.
you for having taken such painstaking jobs
after days in warehouses and workshops,
and moiled extra hours to make me undeterred,
stayed up late to teach me each English word.
language difference as a bad barrier aside,
soothed me with your look warm and arms wide.
are an Westerner and I an Easterner, how rare,
was such a heavy debt, you volunteered to bear!
knew well that I came from that unhappy land
there were many a ferocious and fiendish band
invaded the South and confined people to cages,
the whole nation back to the Middle Ages.
then I had become a nestless nestling in qualm
childhood to leave Dad and separate from Mom,
got into the fleeing boat with hot tears dripping wet
my life entrusted to wave crests full of threat.
to your high-sky and vast-ocean love, my fay,
I could survive until I can achieve success today
become a dignified human in this second home,
pride for both our peoples under the azure dome.
are so shining in my soul the glittering torchlight
enlighten each of my steps scintillating in the night.
virtuous advice I will always remember of course:
American but don’t forget your Vietnamese source!”
respectfully offer you this fresh gorgeous bright rose
with my affection in each red petal to enclose.
my repatriation kneeling to kiss my native soil soon
will bear in mind thousandfold your precious boon.
Translation by Thanh-Thanh