Spring and rabid dogs

by Moe Nwe

Also this spring
when cotton trees bloom again
rabid dogs are at it again.

They snarl in the street.
They attack everyone in sight.
No longer secure are
our nests.

Because you can’t shoo them off
don’t go beat’m up with a stick.
A pack of rabid dogs will gang up on you.

Be careful throwing a bone at
a rawboned flea-infested mongrel.
A rabid dog, be it a puppy or a bitch,
will bite your feeding hand.

Those animals! They are
only into sinking their teeth
into your flesh. They were born
with no conscience.

No need to go after them
because they might bite you.
Let them foam at the mouth while
cotton trees are red.

The history of this spring
has been written in blood.
Even if the rabid dogs are in retreat,
as long as the earth breathes,
the curse of my tears never ends.


Translated from the Burmese by Ko Ko Thett for the forthcoming “Picking off new shoots will not stop the spring: Witness poems in essays from Myanmar (1988-2021)”, edited by Ko Ko Thett & Brian Haman, forthcoming from Ethos Books in January 2022.

Moe Nwe aka Soe Naing Tun was a twenty-year-old student from Myitkyina Technology University. He was killed in a protest in Moehny in on 27 March 2021. The poem is dated 20.02.2021.

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