You are a big girl
now; all big girls do get into marrying
Nothing to cry about,
please stop your silly crying!
Dress up and go out to greet the guests,
You look quite a
scene, girl! Sisters, my daughter is really at her best!
Don’t you be a
half-witter! Then don’t be cretinous!
If you ever love
and have a real concern for us
Then please stand
up now! And wipe your shameful tears
You alone have annoyed
some twenty of us here!
Here are the indigo-blue
dress and the purple satin pants for dressing
Here are the mirror,
the combs, and even the earrings
Whatever you wanted,
I have bought, I mean, everything
Don’t you know
you are second to none when it comes to comparing?
The fields have I
ploughed, the mulberry leaves have I picked
The problem of bringing
up your younger siblings have I fixed
I look after the
household affairs; I pay off the debts we owed
I am still healthy
and strong, no need for you to show that you love!
My dear, walking
you to the door to fulfill the duty of a mother,
I am now separated
from you; my pain is twenty times over!
My beloved daughter!
Tonight I cry alone in my room
Night after night
I alone will work the shuttle in the loom
Translated from Vietnamese
into English by Hương Cau Cao Tân
on 22 July, 2019,
in British Columbia, Canada