penitence affront my student, yet 16

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A poem in Vietnamese by Thái Hạo
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


Bella

PENITENCE AFFRONT MY STUDENT, YET 16
 The clouds shredded We’re a crumbling net beneath the sky Engulfing all that’s austere Engulfing all that’s muffled misty laden sinking upon our shoulders The child yet sixteen, a fish out of the water(in the drought) Chest heaving breath corroding crumbling blank pages The lines of letters black dark, sound Orifice Resounding devastation Sixteen knows yet how to cry To laugh To talk Achingly sixteen, shards of glass slicing into naked soles An innocent sheath of paper curled up by the wind in a feral garden weathering storms and blaring Sun Fading Chafing burning Sixteen with dreams at the bottom of a well The fruit of sadness falling Withholding not one echo of the fall Sixteen amidst a colourless life Sixteen scribbling words of innocence upon sheaths of thin papers A…

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