anne truitt, twining court 1, 2001
PAYING RESPECTS AT THE GRAVE
OF MY TEACHER SHIYO
Old grave on the side of a deserted hill
where year after year the sad grasses grow;
no one attending to sprinkle and sweep it,
only a reed-cutter at times passing by.
I remember long ago, hair in boy's braids,
going to school by the Seba River.
Then one morning we flew off in different directions;
after that no word from one another.
Now I've come home and you've departed---
how can I face your spirit?
I pour a dipper of water over the stone,
a small gesture of respect for my teacher.
The bright sun suddenly sinks in the west;
in mountain fields, only the sound of pines.
Wandering back and forth, I can't bear to leave,
tears continually wetting my robe.
tr Burton Watson