by | Apr 16, 2009 | Poetry | 0 comments

He understands nothing.
Doesn’t know his big GI
father, his Vietnamese
mother who discards him.
His is an unwelcome.
Called Vu, he’s no-one’s son.

The orphanage is dumb
for this baby. He learns
thirst, hunger, to be mute
to feel tears scald his eyes
fear to make his heart cold
in the hard prison-cot.

Next, abandoned infants
all shades are in the dark
crammed in aircraft, strapped
three to a seat as they wait
to fly from war-end storms
in Saigon and Da Nang.

Shocked, he doesn’t know what’s
going on. His language
is silence. Can’t understand
these words. The plane-monsters
bellow, shudder and roar.
He shakes with fright.

Strangers try to give them
noodles and milk. Huddled
children speed through the night
clinging, cracking silence
at landfall by screaming
as they’re passed to the Red Cross

to start new lives in different
lands. Now he’s called John.


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