Under the woven cloche

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A poem in Vietnamese by Phan Nhiên Hạo
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Tien Bac Dang

Sunset @Bến Hoàng Hoa, Vietnam by Tieng Bac Dang

Under the woven cloche

& a new pup
eyes still completely shut
crying pitifully in the dark
placard like the truth
under the cover of the cloche
away from harmful flies
but also a cover for
the mouths of babes
begging to consume what is right.

So hungry, they had
to sell. Twenty cents
a handful of fur
ash grey & an eye
still shut in the dying light
there’s not enough time to pass on their gene
deteriorating destiny.

A! A generation of old men living as professional
spies through the holes of the woven cloche
to end up fighting with cockroaches
over leftover rice for the rest of their life.

March 2023

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