The river gently flew cross my hometown,
the murmuring waves running afar.
The dog accompanied my father and me in the poignant years.
The image of my mother’s back grew smaller and smaller.
The chirping magpies were busy
with setting up nests at conjunctions of twigs.
The acquaintances haunted the street in twos and threes.
The ancient Chinese locust tree was studded with buds.
Where was my mother?
The question was unasked,
but stayed in my mind.
The evening was stretched and twisted.
The cicadas were clinging to the branches，
droning in the moonlit night.
The noise of motorcycles irritated the slumber and the alert terrier dogs.
The disturbance of some deep-night chatters unfurled in my memory.
The dragonflies flew and hid,
Among the sleepy water lilies.
Slender stems, pink petals, tender stamens,
came to life in the old paintings.
And the permeating fragrance consolidated in the sprinkle raining days.
In those ancient poems from Tang dynasty,
The weight of dew on the water lilies’ leaves was equal to a concubine’s tears.
The blaring of palace lanterns resonated across the alleys.
The noisy cicadas finally fell asleep.
The rooster interrupted the sweet dreams.
The elderly always woke up first,
The children next.
Mother reappeared in my memory.
Her red shirt was drenched in salty sweat.
She turned back and checked whether I was crying.
Her rosy cheek was glowing; her figure was tiny but vigorous.
Her back was sturdy; her hands were brimmed with doing things,
The lichen was spreading in the gloomy season.
The frogs were croaking till deep in the night.
The time had come to depart from mother and father for a pupil,
venturing into the kindergarten.
Nonconformity and timidity built the gap between the child and the peers.
Conflicts came between prematurity and maturity.
Tranquillity and blooming expectations rooted in the foggy days.
The villagers were slightly annoyed by the untimely roosters.
Innocent roosters were only waking up people with duties!
Carrying the burdensome backpack with the pattern of ladybugs,
the pupil rushed to the school.