my old home

where the ice cream parlour
once stood
an army recruiting office
Kesselman’s gone
where my mother shopped
for jewelry
the bank on the corner
where Maryanne worked
a discount clothing store
the hardware store
both Johnny and I
drove delivery trucks for
now Wicker Heaven
gone Atlantic Avenue Deli
the Arcade Movie Theatre
Woolworth’s Five & Dime
just that wind
that blows down every street
in every town
as strong as ever
in my old home

East Wind by Ou Yang Hsiu

The burgeoning trees are thick with leaves.
The birds are singing on all the hills.
The east wind blows softly.
The birds sing, the flowers dance.
This minor magistrate is drunk.
Tomorrow when he wakes up,
Spring will no longer be new.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth