Saigon May 2016

 

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The Saigon River is silted, heavy and dark.

It pushes south, dragging dreams to the South China Seas.

And from my window, the evening light is broken apart

By bats that whistle and dart towards the trees.

 

The millions of scooters have woven their route home now

And like ants, they carried their work and kept heads down.

Joining streams of movement, they become a black oily bough

That like a liquid is emptied out of the hot and humid town.

 

Beggars, street kids, small scowling dogs and single girls now own the roads

Who ply their trades, to make men smile but are easy to offend.

So when we pass, our cool blue eyes fail to see their loads

That balance and are stained with sweat from thin shirts on backs that bend.

 

At the silent War Crimes museum, the tanks are green, solid and cold

And no longer will the clatter of Hueys break the air and shower hurt.

A maimed man waits at the gate for gifts; he has no hands, unable to hold

A thought of promise and revolution that is lost in the dirt.

But this is my Saigon Girl

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