To Those Who Plagiarise

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Đình Tiến
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

To Those Who Plagiarise

I have a copy of my mother’s tears
My hands shook in every verse
I even have a copy of a tiny pebble
And the pebble did not once care.

I copied a verse from the wind
The scent of white cedar in March
An empty backyard white with blooms
A trickling river by the banana grove.

I took a verse from the shadow
The piercing pain from the light
Discerning through the rustling leaves
A nameless autumn.

I took a peek at a verse about the world
Through the whistling kite’s lullaby
Made a copy of the pain the grass had to bear
The verses in the eyes of nemesis there.

I’m appreciative of those who betrayed me
Scattered loneliness in the dying…

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