I had borrowed

a tiny cell from my father

I had borrowed

a tiny cell from my mother

To form my body.

My mother had

a little room in her care.

She let me dwell there

real comfortably, rent free,

Plus full security.

I caused her problems

in the nine months of my contract

But she never minded,

And she seemed  so happy

when I kicked and punched.

I came to the world

when my contract run out.

Although the self looked after the “I”,

Still I had to depend on her ,

Until I grew into full maturity ,

Far from crime, drugs and alcohol,

Away from all trouble as she asked me to

My body is perfect.

Took care of myself

because “I” was not mine.

It had been borrowed,

it belonged to my folk,

I must take good care.

More than half a century later:

“Life is not meant to be easy”

in my  adulthood

It kicked me “left right and centre”.

I felt suicidal sometimes.

When my own branches

bounced back, my own eyes hurt

to the point I thought,

To take my own life,

Life had become real blue.

But the “I” was not mine

The “I” had been borrowed

And the owners had passed away,

I had not returned the “I” yet…

How Dared I think of death!

Fire may be red,

life may be dark blue

But love is green and forgiving,

I took that feeling into my heart,

My heart is listening.


Dã-Thảo Quế Trần

Spring 1998.


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