How could a leaf possibly be so

A poem in Vietnamese by Bùi Kim-Anh
Translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

the countable leaves here 

dry rhythmic rustling on the stone pavement

reaching for high heaven were the naked trees in a row 

I’m here adding a hint of me

.

dissolving into the ambience

leaning into a tree trunk counting each waiting heartbeat

as light as the minutes

quiet notes

.

changing moment

spring leaves

as everything slows down

warning whispers

.

wait for the seasonal fall of the last leaf

the crackling opening of new green buds

strolling slowly along

how could a leaf possibly be so…

.

February 2021

LẼ NÀO CHIẾC LÁ

.

ở nơi này đếm được lá rơi

giai điệu xạc xào khô cong lăn trên đường lát đá

hàng cây phơi khung trần trụi phác lên trời

tôi thêm một nét tôi đi bên cạnh

.

hoà vào không gian

đứng dựa vào cây đếm nhịp tim chờ đợi

nhẹ như hơi thở phút giây

những nốt lặng

.

chuyển gam đời mới

lá mùa xuân

ở nơi chậm lại

nghe được tiếng thì thầm mách bảo

.

đợt lá rơi cuối cùng của mùa cây

tiếng nứt vỏ cho mầm xanh non nhú

chậm lại đi

lẽ nào chiếc lá …


Bùi Kim Anh, the poet born in 1948 in Thái Bình, graduated from Hanoi Teacher College, a teacher at a few high schools in Hanoi(Cổ Loa, Bạch Mai, Trần Phú). She is a member of the Vietnam Writers Association. Bùi Kim Anh together with her journalist husband Trần Mai Hạnh currently lives in Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Hanoi with their eldest daughter and grandchildren, including Thiện Nhân, from Mount Thành, Quảng Nam, abandoned by his mother and adopted by Trần Mai Anh, the poet’s daughter.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet, and translator, was born in 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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