|My daughter captured this image on a visit to Vietnam in 2007. It's on the Perfume River (Sông Hương)|
I remember an Ektachrome daylight
In the Binh Ba rubber.
She sat, ochred feet resting.
That old, old woman who showed me
How to wear a headband.
She was unafraid of our scout
And his outlandish burst of Armalite;
It was more important to be comfortable.
She ignored us, our useless armour
Mud-green high-tech camouflaged nonsense,
Smiled and smoked a grudged cigarette,
Turned away and thought on soldiers and children.
Her eyes were as wise as Lao Tzu
And she quietly waited for our departure.
I wrote this after an incident on a TAOR patrol when we came across a group of woodcutters in a free fire zone.
We had to round them up and take them across to Route 2 so they could be checked out by the local authorities.
One of them was a very old woman who obviously felt sorry for the hot and bothered digger who was standing over her with an SLR. I was that digger.
She reached up and mopped the sweat off my face with the cloth I was wearing around my neck.