A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
After the war, some of us had to have answers.
Who were these people we’d had a war with?
Where did they come from? Where did they learn
to make their villages look like old Taoist paintings
with their hedgerows and boys sitting the back of water buffalo
gently tapping the flank with a stick?
What were those family altars? Why did people
seem to be so connected to the earth
they were always driven from?
Why is the landscape so beautiful?
The jungles, the sandy coastal areas with scrub pines
and cactus. Rice paddies terraced
up the mountainsides? We had carried the beautiful earth
in our dreams. The smell of the fields
the minute the plane’s door opened
at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi
hit us in the gut. We were so happy.
Without fear, the Vietnamese language was music.
copyright 2015 Doug Anderson