In Central Park the cherries begin to bloom
On a sun-drenched day when birds have left their notes
For us, intruders inside their sanctuary moats,
Unseen but heard in the shadows where the branches loom.
I walk a narrow path that’s filled with wood chips,
Fine grass and leaves enveloping the way,
Creeping past and among the gates on which they play
In the wind like the smiles on a thousand lips.
Deep within the trees there is a shelter
Where all the park unfolds its jagged edges
And there I rest in the mid-day swelter
Around the building throughout the day,
These joyful guests convene on beams
With songs that carry auspicious signs,
Arriving through the curtained screens.
Sunset guides them down to town for rest,
But dawn will draw them to the river streams,
Until they reach the swans assembled together,
Watching them soar, as in a phoenix dream.
Original Chinese poem by Li Jiao