The call of home drew many in the winter,
Beckoning with snow and home comforts;
It was a season of changes and upheaval.
They pondered for hours over their options,
Then packed their bags and bid the rest of us
Farewell, some for a month and some for good,
Weighed down with gifts to lavish friends
And family with trinkets they were proud to carry;
Others came at New Year, seeking fresh adventure,
Seduced by the idea of travel at a time
They associated with beginnings and resolutions;
And some found new homes and new jobs
Without leaving the taste of their venture behind,
New employers offering them delightful wages
To fill their pockets – after longer hours and
Harder lessons; still some of us remained behind,
Perhaps loyal, or perhaps foolishly devoted
To the company that first gave us work in Vietnam
And breathed life into our imaginations.
Those we lost were missed, a hole left behind
That could not be filled; as they went the new arrivals,
Who replaced our co-workers and friends with
Their own outrageous personalities, were no less
Welcomed than their predecessors, no less
Our family than anyone else had ever been.
They came from England, Scotland, Wales,
From Europe and America, all of them with
Wide eyes that reminded us of our first day there;
We became the elders, and so we pretended
To know Vietnam; we assured them that their
Worries and their longing for home would fade
Away in time, once they settled here with us.
I marvelled, quite astounded, that in winter
My home did not holler and tempt me.
© Laura Marie Clark
Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”
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