CON NHỚ NGY CHA I T

Con nhớ ngy cha đi t
mắt mẹ ướt thm quầng đm kh ngủ
gặm củ sắn mẹ dnh cho chưa đủ
con đi cha ơi!

Trạc phn b năm ấy đội qua sng
nước ngập ướt trn xuống mi con mặn
sng v tnh vẫn tri bnh lặng
bo tố cha ơi! Bo tố tơi bời!

Lũ lụt đi qua, rơm ướt mẹ phơi
cong người xuống, mẹ gồng trn vai hẹp
gnh cả giang sơn, đầu trần, khng dp
mẹ thẫn thờ, lảo đảo gọi tn cha

Năm thng đi qua, năm thng đi qua
mẹ vẫn np cuộc đời trong rơm rạ
con giấu tuổi thơ vo nỗi buồn lớn qu
gnh thng ngy tt cạn biển thời gian

NGUYỄN THỊ BCH NGỌC
(Việt Nam)



THE DAYS DAD GOT IMPRISONED

How harrowing were the days Dad got imprisoned:
Mom could hardly sleep, got her eyes wet, rings wizened.
Gnawing the tiny rootstock Mom spared for me: how sad!
I was so hungry, Dad!

The cow feces I bore on my head across the river,
Wetted, dripped from the basket, salted my lips.
The heartless stream was still flowing to make me shiver.
Oh Dad! such storms had risen to break life into chips.

After the flood, Mom dried the damp hay nearly kaput;
Humping her back, she carried on either slender shoulder
The burden of family responsibility, bareheaded, barefoot;
She staggered, listlessly calling for Dad, the householder...

Months had thus slipped away, and years gone by;
Mom still hid and rested her life in thatch, straw and slime.
I concealed my youth in such sadness as the immense sky,
Shouldering my days struggling to drain the sea of time.

Translation by THANH-THANH