Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Visiting Viet Nam

In July of 2014, my wife Linda and I visited our son who lives in Ho Chi Mihn City, Viet Nam.  Among the many new experiences and surprises was the heavy traffic of motor scooters which is the main way people travel.  Cars are scarce as are traffic lights and the people on the scooters drive pretty much as they wish.  Traffic laws and sign are mere suggestions for most.  So, this poem describes what happens when the daily downpour appears. 

Ho Chi Mihn City Rain

Flocks of motor scooters
Piloted by
Many colored helmeted drivers
Dance a buzz saw sounding ballet
Weaving through the streets
Around people and taxies
And trucks and buses

A fire hose of rain
Which had been held distantly
In dark clouds
By hot humid afternoon air
Soaks the riders
Who now scurry to the shelter
Of trees and buildings' eaves
From under scooter seats
A rainbow of ponchos fly and
Billow in the sideways moving rain

The riders remount and
Wiping water from their eyes
Set forth slowly into
The flooded streets
Their speed is now
Swan like paddling
Their swallow darting movements
Are paralyzed

They will be late
Picking up sons and daughters 

From school
Signing final papers
For a first home
Learning from the doctor
If the spot on the X-Ray is cancer
Meeting a lover for
An afternoon's betrayal

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