Phan Thanh gian
Vegetable Vendors - Poem by Phan Thanh gian
'Five for two dollars, two for one! '
Yelled the ones in straw hat
Men, women: aged, riped as the vegetables they sell
Wilted, weathered, leathery, tanned melon skin.
Twenty five below in February, well or sick,
Sunday, Easter, Christmas: everyday they toiled
By their stands at the street corner, they always stood.
'Lettuce, chilli pepper, spearmint! '
Very few foreign words, living in a foreign land.
They have crossed the countless rivers of tear,
Overcame mountains of back-breaking chores.
Have yet any regrets for the gut wrenching farewells,
While away from ancestral tombs beyond the Eastern seas,
Their souls closer to the yonder Yellow Spring.
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