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THE VETERAN

Page 40
Download PDF of this full issue: v48n2.pdf (20 MB)

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Kuam Yin Weeps (poem)

By David Sandgrund

[Printer-Friendly Version]

Imagine, then.

Fifty years ago,

a small girl child,

falls into the Mekong River.

Too young to have a name,

Too young to know, even a single word.

And as she sinks into the painful cold,

A warm white body bears her up,

A gentle white snout pushes her,

head up into the reeds and mud,

the river's edge,

brings her three tiny fishes,

one by one, and lays them near her mouth,

that cannot eat.

And stays protecting close,

Into the welcoming dark.


She dies that night,

so very cold, but not alone.

And as she dies,

The only word she ever learns,

burns in her failing mind;

"cá heo"


And, now.

An old man reads the news,

napalm covers the river

and he stops and weeps.

And as the tears run down his face,

he whispers.

"Goodbye forever to the cá heo "


—David Sandgrund


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