After Rain


I woke with a start,
pillow splattered with rain.

I rose to close the window
and returned to a restless sleep.

Now the light comes,
and there is one red tree

among the many still green.
To a bird, one night is a century.

Reading Chinese poems
on the deck, verse after

short verse about longing–
mountains, boats, drinking alone.

The neighbor’s apple tree
has finished delivering its fruit.

Wet leaves cling to wood–
sweeping will have to wait for sun.

Inspired by Crossing the Yellow River, an anthology of Chinese poems translated by Sam Hamill, a gift from my father


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