How much is too much for remembering?

 

How much is too much for remembering?
You know the grief when the river flow wiped off the rice paddies – all dead
The afternoon smoke flew away as they burned the rice stubble afterwards
There, the neighbour boy caught the fishes
shut them in a jar so his childhood couldn’t go too far
At the end of the day

Come back again to see the cobblestone path on a rainy day
follow the flute sound and run up the hill to the village
meet the old woman with a natural smile, no teeth,
seemed like she was waiting for her son to come back home from town

There’s too much to remember about the old days
The flower scent in the air,
cicadas rumbling on the trees,
the trees Grandpa planted that year
now laying buds in people’s hearts

Where was the innocence?
We are old enough to feel the loss
Stand in front of our shadows and command:
‘Don’t cry!
Numerous footprints will carry the promise.’
Begin to learn the mother tongue one more time
for more than a love of family, the old village, soil and sand
we feel the sense of belonging

In the memory of a beautiful dawn
there were heel marks on the mouldy bricks
Open the door,
light the cigarette,
ponder again: how much is too much for remembering?

 


Huyen Thu
Year 13
Wellington East Girls’ College