What now, Mama?

To “mamas” of the South
As the new year begins, let’s look at the old accounts
Addressed to you — mama of the South
Long ago, you tightened your belt
To offer your bowl of rice to scores of them
You sheltered them with makeshift hideouts
Pits dug in pig pens or under your bed
Have mercy on them “the revolution supporters
with their noble principles”
They cared not for your sundries
But the ultimate sacrifice of your sons
In return, you received a blood-stained patriotic martyr award
Incense smoke wafting, you mourned their death in silence
You clapped your hands in celebration of the victory
And shouted for joy welcoming peace
The barefooted guy took the reign
The country would no longer be in ruins
A few passing years left you flabbergasted
You realized your blunder:
The hoodlums snatched and plundered everything
Even ancestral graveyards turned into China towns
Much patriotic devotion were greedily exploited
And more and more hoodlums sired by them
The oppressed people taking to the streets
Were all imprisoned — Where do you stand?
Long ago you fostered them
Now then, what to do, Mama?

Trạch Gầm

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