Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Good Morning Vietnam

On the curb of Don Du Street
Sprawled early breakfast eaters
Men in undershirts, women in crumpled aodai
Slurping urgently at blue and white pho bowls
I am reminded of young urchins in Rizal Avenue
With scavenged sustenance and relief in plastic bags
On the moist pavements, shivering, relief, shivering again

The early yellow fog in Saigon is no different
From the Manila one, only clammier, heavier
It rises from the ground assailing the nostrils
Faces of curb people anywhere have the same blankness
A look of silent desperation and fatalistic resignation
Slurping pho, refilling blue and white bowls
Spitting out blobs of unwanted off-taste morsels
Missing my newly shined shoes as I jumped
They laughed at my surprise and at seeing such sport
The hilarity of the scene evaporated into the damp air
Rose and vanished into the skyline of electric posts
And into the row of rusted shop awnings
On an early morning stroll in Don Du Street in Saigon

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