Are You Still the Same?

for my “LL” group

Taking a stroll down memory lane
Are your voices still as sweet
Are your hairs still as lustrous
Are the waves still as soothing
Are you still the same?

Are you still the same?
The fun we had playing game
during Tết dinner party;
The shocked reaction you took when I
crushed your sand castle at Vung Tau beach;
The day you asked me when
I would come back and
all you heard was
but a moment of silence
while the fragrance of plumeria
was overwhelming in the air

Are you still the same?
Despite an ocean and over a decade away
Despite the dreams lost or materialized
Will you remain the same for me
when I come back home?


I was inspired to write this poem after listening non-stop to this song:

Em Van Nhu Ngay Xua

Fifteen Years

Saigon 2000
Saigon. 2000 ©

to my “LL” group

It’s been fifteen years
And time must leave its marks

The crow’s feet in our smiles
The wrinkles on our faces
The not as shining eyes
The beer bellies, big or small

And it is okay
Since time must do its work

And it is okay
As long as we are beautiful the way we care for others,
We’re shining with our dreaming thoughts,
Our hearts are full of vivid memories
Of the years we worked together
Of the beautiful moments we experienced-
Birthday parties,
Nights at the beach,
Day trip at the Water park
At work, at play

And it is okay
Since we are all the time beings
Blown away as time flies by
Like a piece of charred paper
Hovering over the brick chimney
In the harsh winter months

And it is okay