If it’s not daisy season Essay

When the bombings stopped, I pushed up the lid of the underground tunnel and carefully got on the ground. There was dust everywhere covering jumble of limbs and dead bodies. A women was standing motionless, looking at the body of a baby. I didn't see her shedding tears but standing forlornly. She didn't cry but I cried.

2nd July 1973. I saw the rain dropped upon the bikes, upon daisies and leaves, and spattered on my outstretched fingers. The July shower carried the breaths of our lives as the kids growing up in a North rural region. I wonder what colour things are when it's raining. Maybe there was only the colour of black and white and different shades in between. That ‘in between’ the space of loss, of pain, was a village of Tam Coc outside this window.

My skin was bronzed, tortured by the sun due to the radiant heat of summer.He scoured the pages and read until he was almost cross-eyed.

But then after looking at his innocent coal black eyes, the anger faded away.

With his head bent, his chin pressed against his sternum, looked like the sky swooped down on his shoulder, it would be the same as the Atlas being punished painting I had seen in the fairy tales he used to read. By the way, my brother also had a frog ‘bestie’ named Jojo because of his massive passion for fairy tales. Jojo was actually his real love, more than anything else.

Linh San was my neighbour and she was 15, same age as me. ‘Linh San’ means a pure chalky flower which always faces the soil, just the way she was, fragile and humble. Today is the death anniversary of her father. Unfortunately, he passed away after 5 years of suffering the Agent Orange, a devastating chemical weapon used by the American army to defoliate the forest cover and destroy our military bases. They made an orange ‘desert’, and called it peace. Sometimes, what left after war was even more frightening than what had been stolen in the battles.

He lied immobile and silent, his midsection covered haphazardly by a red shirt with a shiny yellow star in the middle. His mouth was agape and his chest thrusted upward, his pale hands and feet locked in gnarled deformity. He appeared to be frozen in agony. And he was just one of the thousands of Vietnamese forgotten victims of Agent Orange. The children in my generation, were raised by lessons full of hatred towards foreign aggressors. And the stories of peace could only be taught through our own life stories, after loss and death.

Every year, on this day, Linh San went to the grass field to pick a bouquet of daisies and placed it on the altar for her beloved father. A daisy flower, a lone speck of yellow, grows precociously amid the perfect green of father's new grass. And to her, daisy means more than just a daisy. I spent all last night to make her a wooden wind chimes highlighted by a daisy inside shinning perfect like a miracle. I was very excited and couldn’t imagine her smile that no bright stars could dim. I opened my drawer to find the wind chimes, but there was nothing except for the eggshells.

“Have you seen my wooden wind chimes?” I asked Phuc as he just entered the room.

“Yes, I thought you didn’t use it so I grabbed it to make a swing for Jojo.”

My face was the colour of a ripe tomato, fires of fury and anger were smouldering in my eyes. I ran. As fast as I could. I quickly grabbed that stupid frog and threw it as hard as I could into the river. Rain felt in crazy chaotic drops, the gusting wind carrying them in wild vortices one moment and in diagonal sheets the next. I heard a loud familiar voice “Nam, stop… I’M SORRY, brother.” then calmly walked back and saw my little brother had fallen on the ground crying hard.

"Evacuate, suspected bomb. Bomb. BOMB." Shouting rent the air.

I quickly turned around. The pillar of fiery smoke and dust. I stood in agony and semi-blindness amid a chaos. Nothing left. It hurt. Hurt. It flowed through my veins and deadened my mind. It was a poison to my spirit, dulling me killing off other emotions until it was the only one that remained. The raindrops ran down my face as thin layers mingled with the salty tracks from the pinkness of my eyes. Something burst into my chest. A gunshot was destructive, could take no longer than a fraction of a millisecond, to puncture my heart, to suck the air from my lungs and leave the blood to empty my veins hour after hour.

What I now treasured is a memory, with my little brother, a shadow lingering in the depth of me. There was no way to find things once lost, and there were mistakes that are irreparable. If love is a divine gift then sorrow is also, for in its enormity is the proof of what used to be.

If I could turn back time…..

If it’s not daisy season.

How to cite this essay: