Awaiting the new year
Soon we’ll feel the year running out
like a snake going into its hole.
Long, scaly, already half disappeared,
the last trace will go; who can stop it?
I might want to tie its tail,
but even trying hard I know I can’t.
Children want to stay awake;
Noisy, cheerful adults keep watch together.
The rooster will omit to crow at dawn
and the drummer too will respect the celebrations.
We’ll sit for a long time, until the lamp burns down to ash,
then rise to see the plow stars turned downward in the north.
Another year may be more than nature will give.
Worried, fearing I’ve wasted my time,
I’ll exert myself to the utmost tonight.
Young enough still, I prize that ability.
With gratitude to Whiskey River.