Pretty face, tiny body,
Coal black shining hair,
Porcelain doll with misty eyes,
Precious angel tucked in there.
Oh, such tortures she endured,
No one can ever know;
Yet she speaks just to encourage,
Not to share her tale of woe.
A little child locked in prison,
Not yet twenty-one;
Wrong place ... wrong time ... no reason,
Hated by the Viet Cong.
Months she languished, barely fed,
Without light or heat,
Crowded, filthy, dirt-floor cell,
Bugs or rats her only meat.
In the darkness, in a corner,
To a Jesus Christ she prayed;
In no position to make bargains,
Yet she offered Him a trade.
"YOU SAVE MY LIFE ... I GIVE YOU ME,
THAT'S ALL I GOT!" she said;
In the morning, they took others,
But no hair was touched upon her head.
God, then, saved her from her captors,
Even though her cell mates died;
Herded out like so much cattle,
Shot before her frightened eyes.
That very morning they released her,
Why, they did not say,
Except they figured in the jungle,
She would not live more than a day.
Tough little soul, she made it through,
She, somehow, reached a friendly town;
Hospitalized for many weeks,
'Til health restored ... then America bound.
Her last stop at the mission church,
Renewed the pledge she'd made;
"YOU SAVE ME, GOD ... YOU GOT ME,
I DO JUST LIKE YOU SAY."
Now, twenty-some years later,
This tiny flower thrives;
Children, husband, home, career,
What a joy to be alive!
Enterprising and ambitious,
She has a beauty shop;
House and home come first, of course,
But many days she works non-stop.
While having my hair done one day,
I overheard a conversation;
A whining client was complaining,
Of some petty tribulations.
When she spoke badly of a friend,
This tiny lady of big stature,
Stood back, her hands on hips,
And righteously attacked her.
"LADY, YOU WRONG ... YOU UNKIND,
NO WONDER, LADY, YOU NO FRIENDS;
YOU NEED THINK MORE IMPORTANT THING,
LIKE DEATH AND LIFE AND HOW IT END."
"YOU THINK GOD AND HEAVEN AND HELL,
ONE DAY YOU KNOW YOU DIE;
BE GRATEFUL YOU GOT THREE MEAL,
YOU CLEAN, YOU WARM, YOU DRY."
"GOD DON'T WANT YOU MEAN,
BE NICE ... HE LOVE YOU, TOO;
HE SAVE YOU ... IF YOU SORRY,
OH, MA'AM, I SO SAD FOR YOU!"
Then smiling, she went back to work,
Her customer was cowed;
And in my heart of hearts,
I wanted to applaud.
Such a tiny messenger,
With message monumental;
I think the angels cheered this day,
At words, naive and fundamental.
Do you know how they spell her name?
In Nam, it's H-A-P-P-I;
Over here, we spell it better ...
We spell it H-A-P-P-Y.