"Man is a history-making creature who can neither repeat his past nor leave it behind." --W.H. Auden 

From Hue to My Lai to the South China Sea
(In memory of countless boat-people who never made it to freedom)

Oh God, who crossed Ben Hai River
When the ink on the Geneva Treaty 1954
Had not a chance to dry.
Who pushed their people into the jungles
Beating the path, making the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Who buried three thousand alive, mother and child,
In the ditches at Hue, my ancient town.
Tet Offensive 1968, or breach of truce,
Filled my whole country with death and misery.
"Total Attack," as the evil Viet Cong declared,
While they sniped at their enemy from behind
The children and women of My Lai,
That dismal morning in March.
Oh God, the VC used my helpless people
As their hostages,
Pushing them before the line of bullets,
Forcing the children to throw grenades at the Americans.
Who donned the cone hat on Jane Fonda,
Hugging the big guns made in the evil empire of Communism.
Who used the nine-year-old girl burned with napalm, 1972,
Accidentally hit by the South Vietnamese Skyraider pilot,
For the longest bout of propaganda until she escaped.
Who breached the Peace treaty signed in Paris 1973
Pushing a million out of my motherland.
For every refugee who made it to freedom,
One was raped or kidnapped by Thai pirates
One died in the cruel water of the South China Sea.
Oh God, I don't know....
I don't know, God, please answer me...

Linh Duy Vo
(The Boy in the Poem)
Friday, 13 March 1998


" A photo is worth a thousand words, but a pen is worth a thousand photos. " 
--Adapted from a Chinese proverb by poet Linh Duy Vo


Missing Wing

"No Gun Ri"



  Copyright by Linh Duy Vo.  All rights reserved.