“Broken” by Du Thi Hoan

Du Thi Hoan


Whenever you pull out the desk drawer, you leave it open
Whenever you write, you never cap the pen
Oh my darling, you’re so absent-minded
My wild forest deer

Everything should have happened smoothly
We should have become husband and wife
If we hadn’t taken a chance
A chance like we took tonight
When after a peaceful time
Enjoying ourselves on a stone bench at the park
You didn’t button my shirt over my breasts

—Translated by Ho Anh Thai & Wayne Karlin

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004
Tribute to Vietnamese Poets

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