Thứ Tư, 15 tháng 2, 2012

WE PROMISE ONE ANOTHER / TẾ HANH / Don Luce introduced...

We promise one  another / 
poems from an Asian war
                                                G   I   R  L   O  F   T  H  E   S O U T H
                                                                 a  poem  by
                                                              T  ế    H  a  n  h  *

                                                       I come  to visit the hospital ,
                                                       Looking for  news  of home .
                                                       When I meet you, I guess
                                                       " A southern  girl  "

                                                       In your young face
                                                       Something seems old,
                                                       When I was regrouped
                                                       You were barely a third grader.

                                                       Your eyes glisten , damp ,
                                                       Half - closed against the sun ,
                                                       Or sometimes turning dark
                                                       As before a leaden cloud .

                                                        The hospital tells me
                                                        You are a militia commander .
                                                        With your own hands you have killed
                                                        A cruel outspot chief .

                                                        When they say you' re very ill ,
                                                        With malaria diarrhea ,
                                                        And  worst , a nervous disease
                                                        Screaming out at night in terror .

                                                        We talk together ,
                                                        Waking memories of home
                                                        The heights of  Thạch Bích  peak  ,
                                                        The swirling water of the Trà rivers . **

                                                        When I ask , you just laugh ,
                                                        You can't remember how many battles .
                                                        You remember Ba Gia best
                                                        And early spring of sixty-eight .

                                                        Pak Chung Hi 's fighting bands ***
                                                        Have received our punishment .
                                                        Sơn Mỹ , Ba Lang An .
                                                        We can never  forgive the  American criminals  .

                                                         TRẦN TẾ HANH
                            *       Tế Hanh  (  b. 1921 in Quảng Ngãi  Province  , d . 2009  ) 
                                            Real name : Trần   Phố  ( or Trần  Tế Hanh ).
                          * *       In Quảng  Ngãi Province
                         ** *     Pak Chung Hi   is the President of Korea ( South ) .
                                                 Under the allied force , Korean soldiers are primarily
                                                 stationed in  central Việt Nam .
                                                          ( Don Luce's notes )

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