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Ban Vinai

Ban Vinai, nestled over six hills and four muddy creeks
Your high mountain looks down on forty thousand refugees
Defending their souls with its sharp limestone peaks
These cast-aways living inside houses with iron-roof
Many died but others were also born in your safe haven
Hmong running from Laos, land of communist re-education

Ban Vinai, you were inspirations to poets and singers
You were the first to inspire many a new troubadour
To teach Hmong the modern music they now devour
When money was needed for food, you taught women
To invent colorful handcrafts, to sew new embroideries
They now make wall-hangings into new social tapestries. 

 Ban Vinai, you gave us new thoughts and new religions 
Our Chao Fa was thriving for being inside your gates 
In their idle hours, you inspired members with new dates
For Hmong history that went back to times of dinosaurs
With fantasies about Hmong kings, statues and idols
Fanfare in nine-corner house of worship and other lore

Ban Vinai, you bring back smiles and Cupid’s love
To Hmong young men and girls fleeing Laos in the night
Who now enjoy the prime of their youth, walking in droves
Or sitting outside their houses, romance in full flight
Some had love fulfilled, others ended in tragic suicide
You love so many but also without pity cast a few aside. 

Ban Vina, we still remember you all these many years
Although the people have gone, the jungle now soars
The creeks are clean, the dust a dense green space
The long houses on stilt torn down, only few in place 
The memories of your generosity, an endearing embrace
Deep in our Hmong hearts, you have a very special place.


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