shadow

Reading Li Po after three days of rain

You ride the waters of our home

though you sail ten thousand miles.

Li Po

Facing the family tree,

a blue spruce planted

eleven Christmases ago,

its shadow falls over me,

a patchwork of wet darkness

the size of the Yeh River;

how it trembles across

its valleyed bed, my face,

rippling like water drops

over the fishing cormorants,

their beautiful black wings

which never dry in Xian heat.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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