Tomb Visiting: For Yuan Hongqi

 

Last year, before burying your ashes
Right beside Grandma’s grave site
(To guard her peace, as you had wished)
I opened your urn for a peek
And found your biggest bone chip
Glistening against the January wind
As pink as a piece of charcoal

Now, too far to attend your anniversary
Like every other good Confucian son
Burning joss sticks and fake money
Lighting a huge pile of firecrackers
Before your tombstone, on Big Wok Peak
But I did make three loud kowtows
Towards the east, and in so doing
I saw a little rosy cloud drifting around
Like an inflated bird beating its wings
Along the horizon, amid evening glows
And wondered whether that’s your spirit
Still lingering between earth and heaven

What was it tightly holding in its beak:
A heirloom, or simply our family name?

 

上坟:献给袁宏启

英文作者/中文译者:袁昌明

年初,我把您的骨灰

埋葬在奶奶的坟边之前

(保她平安,如您生前所愿)

我打开您自买的骨灰盒偷看了一眼

但见您最大的一片骨殖

在元月的风中闪闪烁烁

粉色的,就像一块火炭

现在,我离您实在太远

不能像其他儒家孝子一般

到大锅顶您的坟前去祭奠

点香,烧冥钱,放长鞭

但我还是领着妻儿面朝东边

磕了三个响头,同时遥见

一朵红云飘飘然然

象一只充气的鸟儿振翅飞旋

在地平线上,在晚霞之间

不知那可是您的魂灵

还彷徨在天地之间?

瞧,那鸟嘴里叼的是什么

您的传家宝,还是我们的姓字袁?

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