Mourning the meadows

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

The journey begins into the meadows a sheath of concrete

Then a row of erect docile trees.

Not long after the grew the many homes the many orifices

Announcing the verdict

It is for life at least


Perpetually March rain flickering across the horizon

Perpetually June yellowing haystacks

Perpetually the scent of an awakening young woman

Even the grains yearns for its new life


Night after night

We watched the fields fly

Gliding through the wide-open rows of docile trees

From seedlings to the barely nodding panicles of rice

Upon the concrete road quietly, they make their return


Bow low walking in the silence

Started by a passing recall of a field mouse the old seedling in a whisper bloomed spikelets

They looked for their…

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