Women of Vietnam
Hien V. Ho
  Two millennia ago, your ancestors,
Ladies Trưng and Triệu,
Hoisted the independence banner,
And dreamed of riding fierce waves and winds,
To free your people from invaders.

But your names are absent from our history books,
From the steles at our temple of literature,
From the genealogical records
Religiously preserved on our altars;
Absent even from the names of the children
You bore to life;
Absent from your husbands' obituaries,
And even from your own tombstones after death;
Carved with the names of the men you wed.

You nurse your sons and sing them sad lullabies
That will stay with them all the rest of their lives.
Their fathers will send them to endless wars,
And immolate them to causes invented from afar,
In your name
And the name of the land they say is yours.

Ideologies come and go,
Stone steles will wear out,
Civilizations will crumble and fade,
Everything will be gone, leaving no trace;
Everything is vanity of vanities,
Except for your love and sacrifice,
Day after day,
Year after year,
For your husbands, your daughters, your sons.
For eternity, we thank you,
Mothers, wives, companions,
Women of Vietnam.

        Please read the rest of the story in THE WOMEN OF VIETNAM.
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