Treasure Island

Nhuan LeXuan

(1930 / Vietnam)

Dad's Merit is Like Mt. Everest


“Dad’s merit is immense like Mount Everest! ”
That verse since a child I had known with zest,
But now heard again makes tears start to my eyes.
My country has been half of my life in hard times,
Partitioned in two when I was just ten years of age.
The mothers poured from the North in a critical stage
And thenceforth began in the South to revive;
But everywhere anguish continued from war to derive:
The young men with neither complaint nor regret
Rushed into the battlefields, their hopes on life set.

You were born, not in time yet to build dreams rather,
Not seeing your father yet, you already had no father.
I your Mom brought you up, in tears educated you kid:
Dad loved me, loved you – and loved Vietnam sacred,
Fulfilling his duty, not yielding an inch of ground,
Using his body to pay his debt to the country bound.

Now that you might be said to have got some success
Enjoying democracy, liberty, being free to express,
Yet sometime in your innermost you suddenly understand
Why I your mother had to leave home for this land!
I surely felt heart-broken ̶ my deep grief increased
When as a child you naïvely asked why Dad deceased.
Oh my child, Freedom has its though high price,
But without it we cannot be human beings so nice.
On Father’s Day, watching the smile of each of your chit
I am happy because we are able to live a life fit.
The word Democracy with Dad was such a dream:
Write it on his votive tablet to honor him as we mean.

Submitted: Thursday, June 16, 2011
Edited: Friday, June 17, 2011

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