Today a dove knocked on my window

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A doves on a metal wire

Today a dove knocked on my window and sing, with the language of clouds

A song about freedom.

 

Some say birds have memories in their blood

To guide them, when the sky carries silhouette of terrors

But they know not the song of those in cages

And so they are free.

 

Decades ago, my people fight under a sky that was changing in season

And saw warm hearts beating on top of arrowslit, soon to be stopped

Green shadows with lunge mines charging into roaring beatles

Their retina, a calm lake, reflected a single face

We saw our hope melted into green leaves around Sai Gon

The hope of coming home

But the hope for a country was a belief, and so it survived.

 

I wonder why a country requires so many sacrifices

Borders and Politics

Ideologies and Nationalities

Bloodless words written by ink demanding lives

I wonder if those lives really believe that no other lives would be spent.

 

We are no birds

We are not free, for we know the cries of others

And there is little memory in our blood of the changing seasons, of war

So we stay, and ignite our hearts

Thinking we will be the last ones

Or at least, the last ones without a country

Or an ideology

Or a confirmation.

 

But words are already dyed in blood, and this ink contains memories

So I shape them into vessels for us to remember.

 

Because

Today I saw a mother of eight with no children

And a father of one with two

Lives were just lives, and that should have been enough.

Just like the uncertain promises our grandfathers made before walking into storms

Beliefs sometimes does not become reality.

 

So

Tomorrow, whether you are holding guns for a country

A religion

A race

An ideology

Ask yourself,

What do you keep near your heart

And what will your children keep near theirs

Because guns, like these memories-stained pages

Will be passed on.

 

I hope a dove knock on your window someday

I hope a dove knock on all of our windows.

Poetry
Viet Nam