The Vietnamese - American Poetic Spirit





The Widow

by Thong Ba Le

She was sitting on the floor in the room,
wondering.
Her shadow was moving slowly on the wall,
dancing
with the light of the red candles,
flickering.
She looked pale, she was desperate and
crying.
The three coffins were seen vaguely and
fading
through the screen of tears running down on her face.
Her son, her husband and her mother were all killed on that day
by an artillery shell that fell down from the sky,
through the roof of their house on the New Year day.

He changed her destiny by pushing her body inside,
and just laid down next to her outside.
He became the shield for her life
and he would be happy having saved his wife.

Her mother and her son were sleeping across the room.
They never wake up by the sound of a boom.

(In memory of my cousin who was killed along with his only son and his mother-in-law in 1968 during the Tet Offensive at Hue City, Vietnam)

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