The River Merchant, To His Wife
A Reply to the Poem by Li Po

As I returned from to my tent
From a long day of work,
I found on the small table of my spartan abode,
A letter.

As I, with hands trembling with anticipation and hope
Opened the travel-stained sheet
I somehow caught a whiff of your familiar scent
And my heart ached for you to be by my side.

Your familiar script danced before my eyes
A glimpse of home, I fingered the words, so precious
And read a thousand times your heart.
I ached to be by your side.

But as I read your words, my love
Written so beautifully by you,
My eyes fell upon tearstains.
Have you been weeping over my absence, my love?

It grieves me, to think that I am the cause of your sorrow
I count the days, waiting for the time I may return
I miss you so.
Know that I am here, to bring you the kind of life you deserve.
But my heart is torn at having to stray from you
Your beautiful smile.
You musical voice.

How I long for those days when we were young.
Drifting through life without care.
I loved you then, as I love you now
But failed to realize 'til our time would be so short before parting.

Away from you, the days pass as months.
The months seem years.
The seasons roll by as I continue to count the days.

Cry no more, my love,
Soon I will come.
But you need not meet me halfway.
For I will travel like the wind to return to you,
And kiss your tears away, and replace them with a smile.