Happy Viet Cong and their children
live now on the Mekong Delta-cone hats
smiles-motors' chug is the river's heartbeat
and the river here's deep and wide as the sea.
Restaurateurs sidle up in rowboats
serve bread, soup and endless species
of noodles, tea, coffee, beer and python
the dishes are washed clean in the river.
Dug-out canoes and basket boats wobble
and children hang on to tyres and logs
swim, float on their backs-
anything to be in the water-
more fish here than the Atlantic
and enough snakes to feed China.
You can go ashore to buy something electric
or catch a bus to some place drier
and even there will be waterlogged
rice growing everywhere. The rain slants down
to make things wetter whip up the river
like a rough day in harbour.
There's no land, no water richer-
moonlight swims with the carp,
the moon's eye looking out
from every prow.