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Leaving Ha Noi - Scarlet Letters

Dec. 12th, 2011 07:18 pm Leaving Ha Noi

This is a poem I wrote for a friend who was leaving this crazed, cracked city. It looks like I'll be leaving too, so I should follow my own advice and get exploring!


Leaving Hà Nọi
 
For Jacqui
 
In a season made for wandering,
colours and corners newly uncovered
are more alive for being found
on soon-departing feet.
 
Following tangled wires
down shuttered lanes,
grappling twisted weeds
to unearth secret mansions.
Farewell photos against fading numbers
of time-worn xe-ôm drivers.
 
No need of them,
feet press on.
A park, our very own lake,
coconuts and shuttlecocks and
 
Five in a row
with uncle Hồ,
Smile sweet but eyes afire
with time-honed killer boardgame instinct.
 
We lose, in game terms,
but our feet must move on.
There are ladies running rings around Lenin, backwards.
 
In Hà Nọi
some days
like Moses parting the mopeds
everything goes your way.

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