One Minute for Phuong Na Du

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On November 22, 51-year old Phuong Na Du was fatally shot by Vancouver police at the corner of Knight and 41st Avenue. According to witnesses, less than one minute passed between the time the police rolled up and shots were fired. There is very little in the news about who he was. I haven’t been able to get his story out of my head, and so I wrote this poem.

Rest in Peace Phuong Na (Tony) Du
November 22, 2014

when you fell
on wet road
did you see boats
on slow-moving rivers
your mother picking through beansprouts
grinding rice into milk

did your
teeth bite
sky like
lychee flesh

did you feel sweet beans
slide down your throat

did your fingers reach
for the hands of uncles

did you hear bullets
break your skin
yellow burst
like sunrise over rice fields?

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