Every year at the jade mirror stand,
it’s harder to paint myself into a plum flower.
You didn’t return home this year,
and each letter from across the Yangtze fills me with fear.
I drink less since our separation,
my tears exhausted in sorrow.
I see deep Chou clouds when I think of him in distance.
My man is far and the world’s edge is near.
translated by Tony Barnstone & Chou Ping