A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm Art: Đinh Trường Chinh đi qua chiến tranh by Đinh Trường Chinh words of a wheat field 1. I am wheat I cry, I am crying once again they have left your death at my feet oh why, why would we cry for them? once again once again or more often than not? they like you to die make you into heroes or martyrs they like to eat steamed rice from our wheat root and leave us with the role of a fool a starving dim-witted folk hero like Thằng Bờm they lie, they lie(through their teeth they lie) from Stalingrad to Leningrad a million people have died, many millions of our people have died fields of wheat on fire they’re burning, they’re burning the fields and once more they’ve abandoned our dead Ukraine and your corpse Ukraine oh, the shame of Putin the blameless deception in the wheat, in the wheat and a harbour that will not freeze in the coming winter 2. Ukraine mother gave birth to me a sickly child beneath the sunlight, wheat fields of Ukraine mother was too young and father was a violent man maybe too much vodka mother guided me across the fields of wheat her long skirt wrapped around her feet to a pond behind a camp where father tried to drown her a traveller happened upon her fished her out mother ran up the hill alone spent her whole life cursing the hands once tried to drown her someone I should referred to as my father someone who should have taken care of my mother and to those hands mother was grateful hands which had pulled her out from a frozen lake one lovely sunny day on the fields of Ukraine mother's lungs are filled with life the faith in my eyes never once diminishing dear lord… ----- February 25, 2022 Lê Vĩnh Tài, the poet and translator born in 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands and a businessman in Buon Ma Thuot. Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet, and translator, was born in 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.