I see you

 

You’re a soldier                                     ​

A wanderer and a beggar

You beg at bus stations and in the market                         

By clasping your palms together.

Young people like me ask                                  ​

Whether you’re real or fake.

Are you real or fake?

 

I keenly observe                                                ​

Your gestures, both soft and frail,

Harsh and callous —  

Your actual manners I empathize                                           ​

Your faded, used up, discoloring uniform                               ​

Shows me that you are real.

You are a real soldier.

 

I think deeper                                                     ​

as I watch for movements of your body

where your hands used to be

Pulling triggers at enemies like rivers of souls

To the end of the world                                          ​

and I ask myself again and again

How have you survived?

How have you really made sacrifices

for this nation?

 

I turn away from you,

Still unconvinced that you’re a real soldier,

to give you my spare change,

Are you real or fake?

 

 

ឃើញបង

 

ឃើញបងទាហាន​​បងដើរសុំទាន

តាមបេនតាមផ្សារ​​លើកដៃសំពះ

សូម្បីកុមារ​​អូនលួចសួរថា

​បងពិតឬក្លែង។

អូនតាមលួចគន់​​សព្វឬករឹងទន់

ឥរិយាបងស្តែង​​តែអូនអាសូរ

សម្លៀកបងឯង​​លេចចេញជាក់ស្តែង

​ទាហ៊ានសន្តាន។

អូនរឹតគិតជ្រៅ​​ឃើញដៃបងត្រូវ

កំបុតពីប្រាណ​​អូនសួរខ្លួនទៀត

ថាតើកល្យាន​​ពិតជាធ្លាប់បាន

​បូជាជូនជារិ។

អូនគេចពីបង​​ដ្បិតចិត្តនួនល្អង

នៅតូចចង្អៀត​​មិនហ៊ានឱ្យលុយ

ខ្លាចខុសម្តងទៀត​​បើទោះសារជាតិ

​បងពិតយ៉ាងណា៕

 

Khmer Dogs

 

I sleep thinking of the dogs, pitying them,

Barking in the dark,

Night & day into noon, barking

Gnawing at anger.

Running, traveling distances for a bite of the flesh

Wild with anger and hunger.

Starvation flames in their eyes

Ready sharpened fangs to spill blood.

Those pursuing peace

Are served fresh cooked rice to pit them against each other.

Anger inside isolates them

Without a friend in their eyes,

They are forced to accept & to beg.

Now, angry, incessantly barking dogs,

Friends against friends,

The enemy inside

Never have been at peace or in harmony.

 

 

ឆ្កែខ្មែរ

 

គេងគិតអាណិតឆ្កែក្នុងស្រុក

កម្រឃើញសុខស្ងប់ម្តងណា

ព្រឹកថ្ងៃល្ងាចយប់ឆ្កែឆ្លេឆ្លា

ដេញខាំមនុស្សសាសត្វផងគ្នា។

ចម្ងាយដប់មែត្រក៏តាមព្រុស

ជិតកៀកហក់ស្ទុះហែកអង្គា

ភ្នែកពេញកំហឹងពោរហូហៀរ

ប្រុងតែខាំគ្នាឥតស្រាកស្រាន្ត។

លោតែឆ្កែណាសន្សំសុខ

បាយក្តៅបញ្ចុកញុកត្រាបាន

ឆ្កែដែលស៊ីហើយក្តៅក្នុងប្រាណ

ឃើញគេហក់ថ្កានឥតរុញរា។

គិតយូរៗទៅជ្រៅអាណិត

យប់យន់ក៏ឥតព្រមលែងលា

ព្រុសតពេញភូមិបង្អើលគ្នា

ពុំមានវេលាណាឆ្កែស្ងប់៕