Nhuan LeXuan

(1930 / Vietnam)

The Right To Vote


I hold my ballot in my shaking hand
And say to myself: this is cause and effect.
The opportunity is so grand
I have spent all my life to expect.

You have lived in a free country,
Here you and your ancestors were born;
Your civil rights are numerous and sundry;
Please do feel pity for the forlorn.

I had exercised my right to vote
In my native land’s first ever election:
Illiterates did not know what cadres wrote;
Bad factions led them to wrong direction.

Wanting self-rule, people grew wiser;
The patriots just built a young nation.
But the invaders, however, were slyer:
Elections were only to shield usurpation.

That is why I came to this world;
To become a proud citizen I strived.
Liberty in the starred banner unfurled;
Human rights by none to be deprived.

I cast my vote for the candidates I trust;
I opt for the propositions I approve;
No choices imposed by others as a must,
No revenge on the dissidents as a move.

It is the result of my struggle in the past
To resist despotism and exact democracy.
It is the stimulus to advancement here fast
To expand regardless of geography.

Though somebody dislikes time wasted,
Why not to use the right to go to the polls?
This is for me Freedom so long awaited:
Let me, the baby, enjoy my favorite dolls.

Submitted: Friday, October 22, 2004

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