New Year

by Xue Di

New Year
     translated by Hil Anderson and Keith Waldrop

Snow covers former days

Children hide in the snow while three squirrels
scurry to cross the road running between tree trunks

The trumpet blows the lips, extravagantly
wild with joy.  Lover’s anxiety
blessing like an abandoned factory

in this year’s coldest rain.  Cello
slithering, like a big bird on vacation
A feather, mother’s best loved child

in a foreign land, days grown old, even
lighter than a feather.  Father, a pen

nearly fountained out, held
in the hand of his oldest farthest child
in exile, a soul alone

Spirit -filled child.  Who feels most
the pain.  Whose thought is deepest
And the flesh hardening

around his deep and anguished love.  As in
a small harbor, fishing boats arrive on time
tourists gawk at seawater unloaded by the gallon

After which, mast and sails
point at a tilt.  Birds, vacationing
done, fly north along the ocean axis

Snow presses down on shrunken
used-up days.  Through the window
I see a new year, sunlight darkening

in a quiet little New England town
New Year — is my distant home

feeling the chill, a period of new blizzards