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ON THE ROAD

by Zhou Mengdie (1920 - 2014)
English translation: Zhi Yue

This road is very short, but oh so very long
It is not the first time for me
To walk for who knows
how many thousands and millions of years.

The black dust covers me,
But also allows me to grow
I use my tears to become my smile
Shed my smiles to bushes on the roadside.

Will it miraculously bear orchid flowers?
The remote horizon lies undiscovered.
This road is a strand of
forever unending, bittersweet, prayer beads.

── from Zhou Mengdie Shiji Shixuan (Selection of a Century’s Poems by Zhou Mengdie)