Autumn  Water

Autumn  Water

A ghost, from out of his past,
Arrived, to haunt him by mail;
News from a long lost lover,
Now ending a twenty year trail. 

Imprinted deep in his memory,
A few days and hot autumn nights;
Clear crystal waters, lapped a beach,
Passions reached up to new heights. 

After the fall of the South,
She escaped, some way, somehow;
Although the fruit of their seeds,
And she, now reside in Vung Tau. 

He would now turn back the clock,
Re-visit that changed foreign world;
At last meet with his daughter,
A young Vietnamese girl. 

At Ton Son Nhat, the main airport,
Its old name ’twas long gone;
Yet few things still the same,
Since he was last in Saigon. 

Through the sea of strange faces,
He spotted them, straight away;
A mirror image, and her mother,
As if only, yesterday. 

Standing apart from the rest,
Perhaps his bias at play;
Each so gorgeous to look at,
Dressed in a satin ‘ao dai’. 

Their almond eyes? How they walked?
He simply just didn’t know;
Perhaps their laugh? How each talked?
Memories ... from so long ago. 

Flashing a smile he knew well,
She had judged him no blame;
In their short time allotted,
Revealing what’s meant by that name. 

Choice of her mother’s, ’twas Thu Thüy,
Translated means: ‘Autumn Water’,
                                    And recalling that night by the sea,                                       Appropriate choice for his daughter.


   One generation later, a soldier returns to Vietnam to confront a social issue he has ignored for far too long. This poem is his story.       

                                                                    “Vietnam haunts me into poetry!”

                                                                                                                - Author