Tạ Xuân Hải | wading through the night (1)


By Tạ Xuân Hải, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

we waded

through the night

through the crumbling destruction

our heads steeped in rain water

the promises on a page in an old book

the sun in the old exercise books

the mud in our shoes

behind us

our home

our elderly mother no longer by the burning stove waiting

the fresh smoke now soundly lost in the afternoon

mother was as shapeless as the wind

we waded

with heavy footsteps

through the floating garbage above the sewage covers

the bloated rats

their tummy full but they refused to close their eyes

swallowed whole were the sighs by the pounding rain

the rising fever in someone’s throat

someone spoke of their mother

he was a boy once he said fondly

a very stubborn boy

in the two hour downpour

the sunny laughter

a dog was soaked to the bone


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