POEM: Hanoi Epiphany

I strolled the streets of Hanoi,

-past Starbucks, McDonalds, and American fast-food joints I thought had gone belly up decades ago.

-past young lovers on park benches sneaking affections,

-past vendor carts selling banh mi in brightly colored wrappers,

-past the stock exchange,

-past incense-wielding worshippers at the temple,

-past a dancing Minion selling electronics,

-past Christmas LED lights shaped like pine trees,

and I couldn’t help but wonder how it would look if we hadn’t sent 60,000 off to be killed, 2-and-a-half times that number to be shot, stabbed, mutilated, or fragged — not to mention the three million dead among civilians and enemy forces.

Hindsight may be 20/20, but I hope we do at least 50-50.

POEM: Hanoi

of egg coffee and banh mi

to rocky islands in the sea

tiny, tidy market stalls

to the mammoth shopping malls

once a town in ruin and rubble

I saw not an ounce of past troubles

maybe a bullet-pocked citadel

though it be true that war is hell

it’s also a terrible liar

as if the world could be remade through blood and fire.

DAILY PHOTO: Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An

Taken in December of 2015 in Hoi An.

Built in the 1590’s by the Japanese to connect the Japanese and Chinese quarters.