Memoir Poem: Watermelon Sadness (haiku in variations)

Tong Nguyen Van,


It’s imprinted now

The summer I visited

My family home


Humid Maryland

the taste of watermelons

And bushels of crabs


Everyone’s smiling

As if there weren’t any ghosts

Happy family


My six year old son’s

First meeting his grandfather

He understood why


I left my household

With fireflies past sunset

He knew why I cried


When I saw Brother

The savior of my childhood

Who blocked the punches


When our father raged

He searched for his loaded gun

Church didn’t save us


It was my brother

Who intervened, risked his life

Like a child soldier


So every time now

When I eat watermelon

My heart fills with tears


Hard to separate

Love from fear, rage from laughter

My mind is scrambled


Poetry, Writing

Frees these outlets of meaning

Translates memories


Truth silenced childhood

Is incubated poison

Transformed into art.

Niklas Hamann,


  1. Very fine work. Your transformation of trauma into shared art helps to build solidarity with others who have experienced trauma and might strengthen them or even shield them, as your brother did once for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s unlike anyone I know, the humblest person, an unsung hero❤️! He’s the reason I survived a very difficult childhood. I think everyone needs at least one hero in their life, he’s my anchor.🙂


  2. Now I realise the strong person that you are… Is because of the journey you’ve travelled. Hats off to your brother.
    Im amazed with your art forms… Stunning and inspiring 🌸🙏🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much❤️🥰, I’ve had an intense childhood but my brother helped to give me stability and trust. I guess I saw the best and worst of human behavior and writing about it helps me to resolve my perceptions of the past, and it also really helps me to hear validation from you and the WordPress community 🙏❣️🌸😊


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