April In Saigon

(for Ichijo Hiroki)

A fierce April day
When we routed Saigon
On foot and a day later
Our separate incursion
Into the Mekong delta.
Decades after the war
As newly met strangers,
We have the freedom
To toast drinks
And purvey views
On politics and culture
In a street café,
Look at commerce
Flowing in the gutter,
As if napalm was never dropped
Into this country,
Delivered like a morning bread
From a skewered
Overcast sky.

April 2001
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


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