The Petitioners Tale


The Petitioner's Tale

The first month comes in freezing As we brave the snows of Beijing Holding high our hopes of justice But returning empty-handed Oh my brother, we were wronged!

In February, fear the dragon As oppression seeks its outlet And is mauled by palace minions Who would turn aside the flames Oh my brother, they toy with us!

March is meet for weeping For a fair father of justice Whose care for China's citizens Lies a-drowning in the deeps Oh my brother, no-one will hear our cries!

While April grows the greener Heart's ease can never flower From this strange and northern city Where I'm keening for my kin Oh my brother, when will our hearts thaw?

May brings merry memories Of an uncorrupt official! But petitioners a-plenty By the roadside rest their heads Oh my brother, Qu Yuan lived a long time ago!

Original poem by an anonymous Chinese petitioner. Edited by Bai Fan and translated by Luisetta Mudie.