With my hair first covering
my forehead, I plucked the flowers
in front of the door, and you came
on the bamboo horse, playing
green plum catch
around the bed. Living
in the same Changgan Lane,
young, we were innocent.
At fourteen, I married you.
Still too shy, I hung my head low
to the wall and turned back
only at your repeated calls.
At fifteen, my face lit up
in your company, I was willing
to have my ashes mixed with yours.
Your were as faithful
as the legendary lover standing steady
against the rising tide. Little did I think
I would mount the Husband-Watching-Plateau.
At sixteen, you traveled far away,
sailing across the Qutang Gorge,
the Yanyu Crag jutting out
so dangerously in the summer
and monkeys crying sadly
in the high mountains.
The footprints you left, step
by step, by our door, were moss-covered,
the moss too deep
to be swept away, leaves falling
in the early autumn wind.
Now the butterflies, yellow
in September, fly in pairs
over the grass in the west garden.
The scene breaks my heart,
I grow old worrying about you.
Oh when you are coming back
through the Three Ba Area, write a letter home.
I will come out to meet you
as far as Changfengsha.