Poems of Meng Jiao
The One I Left
I don't sleep. I don't speak.
Slice of moon enters autumn's sky.
Lone goose remembering his frosted flock.
Lone heron begging the clouds for a companion.
I resent the one with the fickle heart.
So I've floated about with no resting place.
High and wide I spread my sails and
Traveled to the isle where plum trees grow.
But I'm bound to return to these parting poems
And the sound they make is my misery.
The willow-branchless woman. Again. Rumi wrote that every time two humans make love a child is born and that you are never rid of that child. I'm sure Meng Jiao would agree with him. But this is a very mature poem. And in it, traveling is in the past tense. As a guess, this poem comes after passing his exams but before he meets his second wife. I say before meeting her because his longing is for a companion. And it could be that the willow-branchless woman seemed an even better companion than his first wife. So she remains his primary longing until a companion is found.