Miles Away, to My Friend

Northridge Review, Vol. 6.2 (1988)

Herman Fong

The blue summer you journeyed down
and I traveled north,
two days each,
to Pengyou River
to pitch tents to the sound
of rippling waves on rock
stays with me.

In firelight, after roast fish,
we heard strings plucked in the distance,
and we drank plum wine
and sang slowly of Xiwang village
and its sinewy trees 
heavy with birds and spring blossoms,
where we ate and slept and opened books.

In the morning, as bright water geese
flew with August clouds,
we parted like two leaves
yellow and weighted with dew
falling from the same bough
and returned across valleys and ranges
to our desolate cities.

Our time those months ago
makes the winter frost cling longer
to the leafless branches
outside my window.

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