An Elegy for Dear Mother

Dear Mother—I longed for your love:
so when you passed away I wept;
as your spirit rose up above
my stinging tears, which were inept,
flowed as we began to remove
your cold, silent corpse as it slept—.

Days passed—they gathered for your wake,
a soothing time that was not sad
or grave as they tried for my sake
to pay their respects and seem glad:
as you laid there (to never take
a breath again), I could’ve gone mad!

The hour arrived—the funeral
took place on a cold, winter morn
as if dream-like, strange and surreal.
Distraught, I felt bereaved and torn
as the last rites and burial
made me shrill with grief from Death’s scorn—.

–Ngoc Nguyen

Attar of Roses and Lavender

Like lavender and red roses,
they’re meant for your lovely sweethearts
and their fine, delicate noses;

not to sting the most sensitive parts
or overwhelm the olfactory senses,
daub with the finesse of the fine arts

as love’s a game of great consequences:
love decides on the whiff of a scent,
so smell good or lead to offenses!

Too much scent is gross and indecent;
a little on the neck and the wrist’s
enough to smell seductively fragrant:

so don’t overwhelm like a face against a fist;
by now I’m sure you more than get the gist!

–Ngoc Nguyen