David Lan Pham

Vietnamese Mothers

In the course of four thousand years of ups and downs
With tragic changes, mournings, destructions, hatred and shames
Silently the Vietnamese mothers kept their courage
By bringing moral principles to their sacred country.

When the country was at war, they drew their swords.
In peace time, with their sweat,
They turned rock into emerald rice fields
And hatred into the ocean of love.

Those tender mothers taught their children to love their country,
Their ancestors and their compatriots,
To maintain our sacred language,
The quintessence of our lovely traditions even in diaspora.

Many Vietnamese mothers bore their mourning ribbons.
Their tears were almost empty due to everlasting wars.
Climbing high mountains they tried to find
The bodies of their husband and sons killed in the battle fields
In wild and virgin areas
Where there is no vestige of human footprint.

Those respectable mothers fed their husbands, children and grandchildren.
They counted their age through their daily hardship.
In the darkness, they saw life through separation.
In the blue sky they have not yet seen the sun.


David Lan Pham

Read here the Vietnamese translation


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Cái Đình - 2021