Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence



By Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc

The room begins to darken.
The lights from outside take turns to flee.
Bat wings totter like defeated soldiers
who call for each other to retreat to the end of the horizon.
Clinging to the buffalo horn, the day tries to graze some more sweet grass.
On the meadow of vast wilderness,
frogs start to croak their complaints.

My aunt plucks strings of vegetables,
releasing them into her sadness.
Starting a fire, she kindles the wandering strands of smoke.
Pagoda bell rings, rippling to fill her lonely meal.

It has been like this for thirty years.

My aunt is alone.
She swallows, choking on the sunset.

Translated by Tran Vu Lien Tam


Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc

Born in 1966 in Hue, Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc is currently the editor-in-chief of the Sông Hương Literary Magazine. He is the author of two poetry collections (Crossing the Forest, 2009; and The Going Alone Umbrella, 2013), as well as two collections of essays (Hue Stories, 2008; and The Pair of My Mother's Bamboo Baskets, 2011). He was honored with the Outstanding Work Award by the Writers Magazine in 2012. During the same year, his book The Pair of My Mother's Bamboo Baskets received the Award for Excellence from the Union of Arts and Literatures Associations of Hue.

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