What do I want on the eve of my birthday?

by Cung Vũ

English version by Bích Giao

I just want

A small, simple candle

Alight in a cozy home

Looking on a lake

Under willows heavy with new spring leaves

I just want

A moment of peace

No more listening to news of war

No more anger or pleading

No more prayers

No more laments

No more reproaches

No pulsing music

No tinkling of glasses

No humans disrupting the silent night.

 I just want

To sit quietly

Listen to the night's breathing

Steadily through the years

Near a holy spirit just returned from afar

And a small candle

still burning.