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Li Qingzhao's life was harder than mine
and her poetry better.
Still, to draw off some longing
from my heart, from my face,
I may put something down on paper.

There were peonies by the roadside.
I went to see my family
going north while you went south
to the magnolias, returning home
All the blossoms of summer
can't raise my spirits today.

I heard someone say:
why can't I hold onto you longer than is necessary?
and I understood that just a little too well.
Come back, you cherry blossoms!
You make my heart hurt when you leave.

                             -- Wintersweet
                                May 14, 2000

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