The Piece of Sweet Candy

On the bamboo wall

Above the rough blackboard

Hung the portrait of Ho Chi Minh,

The pupils were being indoctrinated with Communism.

They were told to bow their heads

Close their eyes

Say a prayer.

"To God: Ask for a blessing, one piece of sweet candy.

Open your eyes," said the Viet Cong.

"You see anything?"

"Now, close your eyes and pray to Uncle Ho...

Ask him for a piece of candy."

"Now, open your eyes..."

The innocent pupils found a piece of sweet candy...

Linh Duy Vo

(The Boy in the Poem)

December 1997

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