Vietnam

My Stepmother

When my stepmother first came, her eyes were sharp and bright as little knives. Her youth and my childhood ran into each other–she was the victor. Although my father was still alive, I felt orphaned, depressed and alone, crying by myself, grew up alone. In the first years of peace, everyone drifted. My father went

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Standing Before You

Standing before you I am the mouse before the rice jar I am the bear before the tree, a hive full of honey high in the branches I am the tiger ready to pounce on his food But I am not a mouse Not a bear Also not a tiger Standing before you I am

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Night Train

The train runs rhythmically through the night The wheels sound like the hooves of horses Night spreads out thickly around the train a breathing animal Parallel rails Pull me through the night I want to know; How many miles through the night? How long is the night? I will not sleep And will measure the

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Meadow

She is a small calf With eyes as deep as her mother’s. The rain of the early July morning Stirs the mud around her heavy hooves Releasing the thick smell of mud and last year’s dung. This flesh that her mother cares for They treat with whips and boughs With shovels and hoe handles With

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Lap Zuy

Now it is time for mother to be rid of mourning by hanging it on the young moon Lap Zuy waddles like a bird Walking around on his pink feet the child hangs onto his stuffed bear a mother’s dream While her son sleeps the young woman embarrasses herself thirsting for things she wants while

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My stepmother

When my stepmother first came, her eyes were sharp and bright as little knives. Her youth and my childhood ran into each other – she was the victor. Although my father was still alive, I felt orphaned, depressed and alone, crying by myself, grew up alone. In the first years of peace, everyone drifted. My

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The Soldier

by Ỳ Nhi On the way from one battlefield to another the soldier passes a city. The crowded and noisy city turns out before him very quietly the trees stand in silent lines along the streets the tram seems to flow through the narrow street without making a sound it runs so fast many people

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Eleven Parts of Feelings

(Translated by Martha Collins) I My heart beats in the first spring, On the vanished paths of my childhood. A human call is running Along the edges of sleeping grass; I am hurting with my first hurt. I hide a sexless love behind The flap of a schoolboy’s shirt. On a day when my mother’s

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