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An Excuse For Not Returning the Visit of a Friend

Mei-Yao Ch'en

Do not be offended because
I am slow to go out.  You know
Me too well for that.  On my lap
I hold my little girl.  At my
Knees stands my handsome little son.
One has just begun to talk.
The other chatters without
Stopping.  They hang on my clothes
And follow my every step.
I can't get any farther
Than the door.  I am afraid
I will never make it to your house.

From Songs of Love, Moon, & Wind: Poems from the Chinese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth. From the original by Mei Yao-Ch'en. Copyright © 1971 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.

From Songs of Love, Moon, & Wind: Poems from the Chinese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth. From the original by Mei Yao-Ch'en. Copyright © 1971 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.

Mei-Yao Ch'en