Poetic English version of a poem in
Vietnamese by Tran Trung Dao


Suppose I have one day to live only
Blessed with peace, may that day be!
Free of hatred, struggle and jealousy!
Just one day in the tender arms of Mommy!

Suppose I can call just one time only
In this foreign country, I will call Vietnam6 loudly
O, Motherland! Four thousand years of up and down !
After all those vicissitudes, you are still here, somehow!

Suppose I am given the opportunity to sing only one time
I will bow, then the National Anthem, I will vocalize
To commemorate all those who, for the country, have died
And our yellow flag that, with our forefathers’ blood is imbibed.

Suppose I am given only one time to write
I will not hesitate to write the word LOVE
O, men! please stop all the killing and massacre
After twenty years, hatred and revenge have piled!

Suppose I can draw one time only
I will draw the map of my S shaped country
With all the mountains, rivers, and islands at sea.
How marvelous is the beauty of Vietnam scenery!

Suppose I can cry but only one time
I will cry bitterly for myself, may I ?
With dust on shoulders, I wander in my Bohemian life
I will fly thousands of miles with the clouds in the sky.


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