by Cat Dang
One cold spring day. A year I can’t remember. There’s still snow on the deck. The sky is clear. We sit at the kitchen table and wait as Mom serves us bun bo hue. One steaming bowl after the other. The news plays in the background.
I smell the broth and the pork and the light spritz of a lime wedge. I feel warm as Mom places my bowl in front of me. She mutters under her breath. I ask her what she says and she repeats, “It’s April 30th.”
And I nod.
And then Dad says, “Today is the end of the war.”
And I nod.
It’s that war.
I wait for something meaningful, deep. A lesson, a memory. But they don’t say anything.
And I just say, “Ok,” and scarf down my bun bo hue as Mom and Dad grow quiet.
And when I’m done, I put my dishes away.
And I run back upstairs.
Trang Ngan Tran is a poet and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Trang has a background in music performance and translation. She completes a diploma in writing and editing at Victoria University. Trang has an interest in exploring refugees’ multifaceted integration into the host society. Her works have appeared in Platform and Hyde magazines, and the anthology Painted Words 2019. She is currently working on her collection of short stories.
Jiny Ung Jiny is an independent animator. Her animations focus on queer fruits and vegetables and stories of loss and survival. She is recipient of animation grants and residencies from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Jerome Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Asian Women Giving Circle, and The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Public Artist Residency. Jiny can be found on Instagram @tofu_riot.
Catherine Dang is a fiction writer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a fear of potent Vietnamese coffee and can be found on Instagram @dangitcat.