I love you

I love you

She broke her back her knees just for me
She woke at dawn resides at moonrise
She wore worn shoes the St. Vincent tees
At the chook factory her they teased

She broke her back her knees just for thee
Followed her husband from gaol* to here
From her home exiled past distant sea
She held her children the youngest three

She broke her back, her knees can’t you see?
My mother’s life never hers to own
There’s nothing she said she’ll ever need
A shattered body with naught left to please

*Goal – re-education camp

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, translation into Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài


Tôi yêu em

Tôi không muốn kéo dài thêm một phút giây nào nữa
Tôi không nhớ thời gian
kệ nó trôi qua

Tôi cũng không nhớ tôi vào ngày mai
Tôi yêu em ngay bây giờ có thể
Một giây nhung nhớ của hai ta có nghĩa là
Thời gian không bao giờ đánh cắp
ý nghĩ về em của tôi

Tôi cũng không mơ về tương lai
Tôi muốn ngay bây giờ
Than ôi ánh sáng phá vỡ tất cả những gì có nghĩa.

I love you

I want no moment to ever last
I shan’t recall the hours that passed
Nor shall remember I tomorrow
I love you now this instance alas

A second of thoughts combined was meant
A time stole never my intent
Nor shall I dream of a future with you
Daylight thievery breaking all that makes sense.

M (Feb 2019)

I love you

The golden light at dawn and dusk
The expanse of lush green meadows
The cool sea breeze on summer days

The sweat on those lovers’ brows
The heat of lovers’ quarrels
The smile of a newborn child

The Adam’s apple the snake
The cover of humanity
The soul, a poet.

I love you

More loyal than any human
A playful heart of a child
The sincerity of a teen
An enthused cheese connoisseur

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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