AFTER THE LAST American soldiers
had left Vietnam
and grass had grown
scars onto bomb craters,
I took some foreign friends to Quảng Trị,
once a fierce battlefield.
I was too young for the war
to crawl under my skin
so when I sat with my friends
at a roadside café, sipping tea,
enjoying the now-green landscape,
I didn’t know how to react
when a starkly naked
woman rushed towards us, howling.
Nguyen Phan Que Mai delivered the International Women’s Day poem at the 2016 UN event.