THE VOICE OF REFUGEES

THE VOICE OF REFUGEES

published Gobblers & Masticadores Espana

THE VOICE OF REFUGEES

 

What are you thinking

The way I talk is funny

It is your vernacular

You think only you know how to laugh

Gosh as bright as the Sun

Lighting up unexpectedly my ancestor’s graves

 

Within each drop of blood (I shed each month)

The tears of my parents

 

Cut and dig

Dig then cut

Cut dig

 

You understand?

My ancestors are forever in your debt.

_____

 

GIỌNG NÓI CỦA NGƯỜI TỊ NẠN

 

Bạn đang nghĩ gì

Cách tôi nói chuyện ngộ ngộ

Ngôn ngữ của bạn mà

Bạn nghĩ chỉ có bạn biết cười

Ôi tươi như mặt trời

Sáng cả mả tổ tiên tôi

 

Trong mỗi giọt máu (tôi xả mỗi tháng)

Là nước mắt của cha mẹ tôi

 

Mổ và xẻ

Xẻ rồi mổ

Mổ xẻ

 

Bạn hiểu?

Tổ tiên tôi mang ơn bạn.

_____

DECEMBER 2020

 


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.

2 comments

  1. There remains an unjustly erroneous perception of refugees and migrants as basically willfully/contently becoming permanent financial/resource burdens on their host nations.
    Many are rightfully desperate human beings, perhaps enough so to work very hard for basic food and shelter. They should be treated humanely, including timely access to Covid-19 vaccination.

    Often overlooked is that many (im)migrants are fleeing global-warming-related chronic crop failures in the southern hemisphere widely believed to be related to the northern hemisphere’s chronic fossil-fuel burning, beginning with the Industrial Revolution. And what ever happened to our self-professed Christian charity and compassion, anyway?

    Also, I’ve noticed over the decades that the strong work ethic practiced by these workers is exceptional, particularly in the produce harvesting sector. It is hump-busting hard work others won’t tolerate for themselves [myself included]. I can truly imagine such laborers being fifty to a hundred percent more productive than their born-and-reared-here counterparts.

    No, I’m not saying a strong work ethic is a trait racially genetically inherited by one generation from a preceding generation, etcetera. Rather, it’s an admirable culturally determined factor, though also in large part motivated by the said culture’s internal and surrounding economic and political conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

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