A helicopter flies overhead. I smile at the winged smiles.
I read these words by John Balaban from his book Path, Crooked Path.
Lunch with a District Chief, outside Hanoi
My American friend, who is vegetarian but making concessions,
thinks the translator said, "Can you eat dark meat?"
But, of course, it is "dog," not dark. Puppy, not poulet.
By the third or fourth bite, the translation is corrected,
and my friend swallows, smiles, and says it's good
out of deference to our host, a decent man
who was shot through the lungs during our war,
who was sent home to die, and who now is smiling
at the chance, at last, to talk to these Americans.
- John Balaban