Gu Cheng The 2River View, 8.1 (Fall 2003)

Yes, I neednt run.
The road’s at its end,
though my hair is still black,
and lifes day’s just begun.

The little elm stands unfamiliar
in the gray welcoming grass.
Soil, great grandmother,
I will listen here forever to your songs,
making mischief no more, no more. . . .

My friends may come searching,
but will not find me. I am well hid.
At these things in the suburbs
towering like building blocks
I feel secret surprise.

Wind, don’t duck away.
This is a holiday, a beginning.
After all, I have lived happily,
and quietly receive
this boundless gift . . .

translated by Aaron Crippen

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