“Resettlement” by Le Pham Le

Le Pham Le


Young couple with small child,
we arrive in San Francisco
one July afternoon,
summer grasses waving on the hills.
Why then do we feel
such a chill autumn wind?

Carrying one suitcase,
one affidavit of refugee status,
one outfit each
bought with money
loaned by a friend in the Malaysian camp,
at the end of the tunnel
of wasted youth, of obstacle after obstacle,
we arrive in America.

Our ragged clothes give us away
and our sponsors welcome us,
laughing, “You do look like refugees!”
At journey’s end,
uncertain, hesitant, we begin.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004
Tribute to Vietnamese Poets


Le Pham Le: “Poetry has always been, for me, has always been a mythical world, yet a true paradise where I can imerse myself into an absolute state of peace and happiness.” (web)

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