H O A N G L I E N quietude As my crossed legs freeze to the thick stone floor I no longer feel the spinning earth. I have sat motionless for two years in one spot, Night after night watching the moon wax and wane And constellations faithfully bloom every evening Beyond the trellis of thin bars on the jail window, An indelible image of stillness Undisturbed even by the drifting clouds. In pain and sorrow I sit here, Placid amidst the moon and stars. No ocean's storm or hurricane Can disturb the high hilltop I am on. I sit in this temporal world While moonlight purifies my soul. The terrestrial pink dust that settles outside the prison door Does not stain my gray prisoner's shirt. I sit here while my cold and numb heart Continually kindles its fire of faithfulness, Even though my flesh and bone may turn to stone, Like that rock that resembles the fabled mother holding her son Watching for the return of her forever-absent husband Frozen in her eternal wait atop the mountain. Translation by Phon-anh cr ossing th e p ar al lel March, march on, on this endless path That
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 1, 2002
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