I’m sending my husband a few packs of special cigarettes.
He will smoke them slowly as his life is burning away like the ashes.
I am sending a few sewing needles to my mother.
She will sew a shirt as if she were sewing through my heart.
I am sending a few yards of fabric to my sister
I don’t know if she will make a wedding gown or a dress for a funeral
I am sending to my brother a lot of candy
He will eat so many sweets, because his life is so bitter
I am sending my father a plain white shirt
He will wear it only once, when he goes to his execution.
I am sending to Vietnam an ocean of tears
I am sending to Vietnam a dream of a peaceful day
I am sending to my husband a fountatain pen.
He will paint his life as a dream drawn between the thin lines.
I am sending to my mother a few boxes of tea.
She will pour me some tea as her eyes run out of tears.
I am sending my sister a few matches
She will burn her life in an empty, cold, and misty place.
I am sending to my brother a lovely ring
He will sell it to find a way to escape his life.
I am sending my father a few bottles of sleeping pills
He will use them to lull himself to sleep in the jail cell where he is imprisoned for life.
I am sending to Vietnam a caring song
I am sending to Vietnam my dreams of a peaceful sleep.
The poem Gifts for my Family by Viet Dzung isn’t like any poems we have read thus far in class. This poem really toys with your emotions. It makes you think about how life is when your country is at war. The author starts off talking about how she is sending one of her family members something nice which uplifts you. The next line would then be extremely dark and depressing. For instance Viet says “I’m sending my husband a few packs of special cigarettes. He will smoke them slowly as his life is burning away like the ashes.” The second line makes you feel bad for her husband and makes the reader have a sort of feeling of depression come over them. This is different from other poems we have read because this poem makes the readers emotions go up and down like a roller coaster whereas the other poems we have read are either uplifting or depressing throughout the whole piece