Sunday, April 16, 2006

Surreal Day In Saigon

When I was oh so wee
I sat upon grandma's window sill
And watched the sky with glee
The day they stopped to kill

Flying machines filled the sky
Like swarms of buzzing bees
One with a cross swoshes by
With a soldier's wounded knees

Propellers fluttered overhead
Such a marvel to little me
As I dipped my slice of bread
In my condensed milk tea

I watched well into the night
And wished it would never end
But mosquitos began to bite
And grandma said to come again

I snug a final hopeful glance
As I bid a fond so long
To lights that seemed to dance
That surreal day in Saigon

This poem was inspired by a Sunday Scribblings writing prompt, "When We Were Wee".


Anonymous said...


Laini Taylor said...

Hi John! I'd love to hear more about your childhood. I had the amazing experience of spending a month traveling in Vietnam in 1996, and I'm looking very much forward to going back some day. The people I met, especially in Saigon, shared such heartwrenching stories of the war years, and were so generous and warm. I REALLY loved the country! Your poem is wonderful.

Jennifer S. said...

What a fantastic poem. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post about your very unique childhood memories. Tell us more!

Anonymous said...


Annie Jeffries said...

Heart-wrenching and heartwarming all at the same time.

Kim G. said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of such a historic time. Your poem was so moving and I could really see you at that windowsill.

John E. Tran said...

Thank you all for your supportive comments. John.

Brad said...

Mr. T
Thanks for the view through your window. I love the way you bring the immage of grandmother forward.

I hope you can visit Saigon someday- as an adult- and reconnect even more with your roots...

Then, come back and write some more!

Anonymous said...

This was amazing and sad at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

Oanh said...

That's a very sweet poem!

And condensed milk tea ... I remember that too!

Jamie said...

Hi John! How wonderful to see you here. The rich images of your poem reveal that complexity of how we see things as children contrasted to what we know now as we look back on our experiences. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to more :)

Anonymous said...

love its subtleness..

Amity said...

LOve this one JOhn, reminds of Lea Salonga, the Miss Saigon star on West End Broadway...:-)

She's my fellow Filipina and I am proud of her for her portrayal of Kim!

And your poem is beuatifully penned John!

Shashidhar Sharma said...

Very interesting.. i liked it.. a great prompt too...
Thanks for sharing...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

Anonymous said...

wow what a memory. Truly. Thanks for sharing it with us.

regards my friend

Luke @ WordSalad

(mine are here-

Unknown said...

a heartfelt piece,
lovely imagery,

I am tickled by your participation.
Thanks for submitting an entry for week 10.

Keep writing,
your poetry rocks,


Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

flying machines,
buzzing bees....

these are vivid.

awards 4 u...

Anonymous said...

great poem. really took me into the narrative. good use of words. excellent job!