THE WRITERS POST
VOLUME 7 NUMBER 1
ON THE 30th DAY
AFTER MY CHILD’S BIRTH
During one month after your birth what did you see
made you cry and smile what did you hear?
I now was in this far-off place where the sun woke
with the sound of gunfire echoing dejectedly.
You were born in a surgical clinic,
kind of clinic purposed for the present war. Your crying
mixed with the yelling and the screaming
of men losing their arms, and women their legs.
People died, at the moment you were born,
of a stray bullet, of a falling bomb.
Our country twisted her body wearily,
and the two-note lulling ‘a-oi’ the war had buried.
As you were just four-day old my part I took
in the fighting, learning to gun and stab
through human heart
The war was blind, as was the crying eyes
of your Grand mom. The war now smiled
like the green grass on the tomb.
Instead of Dad, Mom shall raise you by hand
Of human life did you get any sense?
Beyond all measure was the disguised hatred
on the tips of those tongues,
Beyond all measure was the separation
camouflaged by those smiling lips.
My senses now were mute and deaf,
that was caused by guns, bombs, and sadness.
You shall grow up, and you shall know
The nearness, the separateness among human love
Thirty days in this life, you’ve been
happily carried, in the family’s joy, by one member
then others. But through our village and our hamlet
the noise of the gunfire resounded,
the gap in our motherland how were you to fill up.
(Translated by N. Saomai from the Vietnamese text in Thanh Ton’s poetry collection ‘Thap tinh’ published in 1969 in Vietnam)
Editorial note: Works published in this issue may be simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge Magazine Issue 6 January 2005 (ISSN: 1540-1723).
Copyright © N. Saomai / Nguyen Sao Mai & The Writers Post 1999-2005. Nothing in this issue may be downloaded, distributed, or reproduced without the permission of the author/ translator/ artist/ The Writers Post/ and Wordbridge magazine. Creating links to place The Writers Post or any of its pages within other framesets or in other documents is copyright violation, and is not permitted.