translated by Greg Simon & Steven F. White
I've spent sixty years on the banks of a river.
Only those who are living there can see it.
People heading toward the western market
looked at us with fear. They don't understand
why the dampness would cling to our clothing,
or how we'd reel in those fish for them,
from the invisible water.
One day a man fell in, and did not reappear.
Passers-by, interrupting errands to the market,
exclaimed, "Where did he go?"
and, "How marvelous, those fiery yellow fish!"
Those of us born to the river kept quiet.
Smiled enigmatically. Said nothing. Gave no sign.
The language of our tribe is silence.
We wanted to protect our invisible river.
the world belonged to us --