The Americans call it Black April.

Why black? The color of

Spilled ink, rotten fruits, soot, bombs, destruction,

And more. But there were so many other colors.

The green of the leaves, drifting to the ground,

But lost to my mind as they were obscured

By the cities and towering buildings of the World,

Lost to my mind as Agent Orange dropped by

As a friend, only to destroy the foliage

And leave us with barren trees.

Why orange? Orange was always kind to me.

The color of beautiful sunsets,

Of summers long gone, long past,

Of the sweet citrus of tangerines and oranges.

I cannot look at it the same way now.

Johnson's War ruined it.

Despite that, I still had blue.

So reliable, it appeared every day

In the sky and the 2,500 klicks of ocean.

But soon, it became too much

As the rocking of the crowded boat

Lulled me to sleep every night for a week.

Because of that, they caled us 'boat people'.

No colors to that.

Perhaps white was the best.

The purity of all the little ones,

Oblivious to the hawks and doves,

Fighting over a place they do not own,

Have not seen, do not live in.

Yet we do.


I cannot forget the red

That covered my hands and clothes

Until I washed it off,

But it never disappeared from my eyes.

The red of anger after seeing the

MIAs, or worse, KIAs

Who vanished, never to be seen again.


Who left behind people who cared,

People who needed them.

But nothing can compare to

Being on that boat, watching the land

Recede from my view.

Watching my country, my home,

Everything I knew,

Disappear from my eyes.