On the Year's End/Lines from Su Tun P'O
It snows as we walk out to Yang Chou Gate.
Along the street the doorways fill with white,
like drifts of willow cotton. I watch, wait,
until the glimmer of your lantern light
has disappeared beyond the hills. Tonight,
I'll raise my cup alone, the wine sour
on my tongue. The rooftops shine with ice, bright
as your pendant of jade. From their tower
the watchmen pound their drums, only two hours
until this year will end. Under the eaves,
the icicles drone like swords where plum flowers,
in spring, will spread their scent among the leaves
and willow's cotton. After the rain,
only a drift of petals will remain.
From The Briar Cliff Review, 2004.