The Vietnam War and me

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Bắc Sơn

Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


The Vietnam War and me

Boulders propped up in the dried up stream

The breeze cut across the new grass at the edge of the jungle

Our unit advanced like crouching tigers

Bloodshot eyes cold and chilling

The exhausting manoeuvers, four times a day

Caught in moments of rest in jest and banter

Our backs relaxed against tree trunks, looked up at the sky…

Imagined ourselves on a picnic

Oh enemy oh guerrilla

Move aside, forget about firing you guns

Move aside, I’m begging you

I’m in no mood for a fight

Pining for a bottle of beer, a puff of cigarette

Pining for the bird song from the lips of my sweetheart

Oh my tattooed enemy

Consuming rock salt thirsting for a fight

Like you I’m a soldier…

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2 thoughts on “The Vietnam War and me”

  1. this poem is very impressive (a sad chapter in the history of mankind)…did you realize that the the more struggled people all over the world, have a sort of sensibility so different from those who have not this experience ?…maybe their vision of life and spirituality help them to transform drammatic stories and pain into compassion and even a prayer…I think oftten about it.

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