Improving

My Vietnamese must be improving. Walking back to my hotel after dinner this evening, I watched as a big garbage truck picked up the Vietnamese version of dumpsters and without thinking about it read the motto on the side of the truck: Green -- Clean -- Beautiful. Civic uplift is the same everywhere, apparently. And during dinner I was able to tell in a rough way what the Vietnamese couple seated near me were talking about.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

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