Thursday, March 9, 2017

Shadow--By Laurie Nguyen (Robin Goodfellow)--United States


A tiny boy races through a village, with
fragile arms carrying books, papers, 
maybe a pencil or two. He's hugging
the world with bright eyes, while
stumbling through the morning light,
traveling aimlessly in a field of 


Never looking down at animals'
hopeless faces, flesh blown away 
by the bombs of freedom, the
scorching heat smearing morality,
changing what should be,

what shouldn't be.

But here he is still, his shadow in the
haunts from forgotten tears

no older than I. 

Author’s note--The poem was inspired by my father, who lived in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War when he was young. Oftentimes, he'd tell me about his childhood, about how he kept walking through the village with a makeshift desk above his head to avoid the bombs. He managed to avoid the war by going into the shipyard, but there were other men who weren't so lucky. In the end, he made it out of Vietnam and came to the US. Still, whenever he talks about when he was young, he'd always refer to the bomb craters around his village.

Laurie Nguyen (Robin Goodfellow) is a student at the University of North Texas. She first became interested in writing when she was three, scribbling all over her parents' walls and imagining herself in old fairy tales while walking in her father's garden. Since then, she has published poems in the online magazine, Nature Writing, as well as the Haiku Journal and the Healing Poetry


  1. Dear Laurie,
    Thank you for this wonderful piece depicting hope for a future in the midst of suffering. I like your positioning of key words, "ash", "what shouldn't be", "no older than I."

  2. Laurie,
    Great poem. I, like Michael, like the positioning of you words. I am not sure if you are new or not, but just in case, a warm welcome from me.
    Your new friend,
    David Fox

  3. Dead on Laurie, "Shadow" Covers the tiny boy well, ash of
    What is, changing what should be into what shouldn't be.
    I enjoyed reading this sad but courageous story and the
    way it unfolds.