THE WRITERS POST
VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2
STORIES RETOLD ONLY
AFTER 40 YEARS
†Translated by DO VINH
Running away from diseases
Mother took my brothers and sisters and I into hiding
in sixtyĖthree. Nowhere far, mother took us
to an auntís house three streets away.† Mother
said:† letís sleep over at the lonely auntís, I†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
knew that mother was taking us to run away from diseases.
Father retold: in times past, our maternal grandfather piggy-backed him
running far, far.† These days the ham-†††††††††††††††††††††††††
lets can not go anywhere.† I remember
my sister with one hand holding tightly to her dhai dress
ragged, president Ngo forbade the Chams to wear,
with the other arm holding onto the youngest boy
crying two rows of tears.† Nowadays the youngest boy
is in the sixth grade, the dhai dress no one forbids to wear, my sister
has tossed it away a long time ago, the strategic war
diseases are no more.† A story retold only after 40
††††††††† Story 2.† Eating words
I have a friend who is afflicted with the disease of eating
words.† Nothing else, he eats
morning noon afternoon, he chews gnashingly.
His wife cried all of these two years.
He eats all sorts of light and heavy things††††††††††††††††††
Nietzsche, Confucius, then Sagan. He††††††††††††††††††††††††
eats habitually.† He eats
slow, meticulously.† When I was still in shorts†
i saw an old man in my village
eating the moon with raw water for lunch.
Before that, my father retold, my maternal great grandfather,
running away from a Minh Menh mandate read††††††††††††
the book of rituals, burned through the poetry of Glang Anak,†
mixed kids urine to drink instead of
eating words.† He lived over a hundred years old,
my father said, such strange eating habbits,†††††††††††††††
unique to each generation no matter where.
Chams never cease to have the word-eating†††††††††††††††
gene.† His wife cried why exactly it had to be
Waiting for boats
Perhaps it has been one, two hundred††††††††††††
years, and more than that, he has †††††††††††††††††† †
waited.† Waited for the boats.† Arriving in
the afternoons, just as the guru had promised.
Like seventy years earlier, his son
waited† for the boats.† Surely†
to come, the father had said.† A father
could not ever lie to his son.
Like forty years past, his grandchildren
waited for the boats.† In the afternoon, after†††
closing the cages.† They waited as such, still††
in that upright position on that mound of earth ---
toward the sea.† The boats surely
will come.† Their ancestors had
promised so, it is written so in books.† They
cannot but wait.† For the boats
to come from the sea.† This inheritance passed
down from fathers to sons.† Until the
hamlets, then they stopped waiting, no more
opportunity to wait.† The boats had
came and gone, a long time ago,
TRANSLATED BY DO VINH
The Writers Post
founded 1999, based in the US.
Editorial note: Works published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).
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