Dreaming of Amaro

Since Amaro died I cannot sleep at night;
if I do, I meet him in dreams and tears come coursing down.
Last summer he was over three feet tall;
this year he would have been seven years old.
He was diligent and wanted to know how to be a good son,
read his books and recited by heart the “Poem on the Capital.”
Medicine stayed the bitter pain, but only for ten days;
then the wind took his wandering soul off to the Nine Springs.
Since then, I hate the gods and buddhas;
better if they had never made heaven and earth!
I stare at my knees, often laugh in bitterness,
grieve for your little brother, too, buried in an infant's grave. . . .
How can I bear to hear your sisters call your name, searching;
to see your mother waste away her life in grief!
For a while I thought the ache in my bowels had mended;
now suddenly it comes boiling up again.
Your mulberry bow over the door, the mugwort arrows;
your stilts by the hedge top, the riding whip of vine;
in the garden the flower seeds we planted in fun;
on the wall, words you'd learned, your scribblings beside them—
each time I recall your voice, your laugh, you are here again;
then I hardly see you day or night and all becomes a daze.
A million missteps in this realm of Sumeru,
three thousand darknesses in this world of life—
O Bodhisattva of Mercy,
watch over my child, seat him on the great lotus!
Author of original: 
Sugawara no Michizane
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