A letter from long-ago shores arrives, saying
our village is tangled in sickness and hunger.
Why are they telling me, a ten-thousand-mile
wanderer, swelling my hundred-year sorrow?
No one cares about patching up ruined lives
now, and my lifework’s only turned to shame.
My sick eyes gaze off toward them. Night falls.
I trust myself to this little-boat life all adrift.
translated by David Hinton