I began to cry on coming into this world here, 

When life received me, anyhow for joy or for fear; 

And thenceforth a small shape, this, has through skips 

Grown up out of Mom’s sweet milk and scented lips. 


I wept witnessing my Mom so poor and miserable 

While my Dad was doing his soldier’s duty venerable. 

Her sense of sacrifice she kept her heart warm to arouse, 

Bringing up their kids and also catering to her spouse. 


I then had to moan when my Mom passed away 

As the enemy came to hamlets destroy and people slay, 

The insensible bullets and shells to human bodies sever: 

How she writhed in agony to part from us for ever. 


I also sobbed that night, defeated by the hostile drive, 

Of the broken April thirtieth, nineteen seventy five. 

The frail boats crossed the windy and wavy ocean 

To carry those souls with resentment-filled emotion. 


I again mourned for my brother who deceased 

In the Central Region’s prison, ill-treated like a beast;  

Over ten odd years his belief had become perpetuation,  

Thus had not been shaken by the adverse situation. 


I have lamented seeing our homeland distressed, 

Each place-name a majestic feat – They are so blessed. 

Thru many generations our ancestors’ proud display 

Now remains, alas! if not decline, mere decay! 


I have bewailed all my adrift life – For them, for you, 

I have cried for my compatriots and for myself too. 

Deaths and grief aim at our people’s heart to rend, 

In this poor plight I might continue to cry without end. 


                    Translation by THANH-THANH