The Hypocrisy of Snow

by Pan Xichen

Snow is hypocritical. It’s not even
an independent material.
It has to depend on cold air
and its nature is to assist the evils.

Snow is hypocritical, not just because
it always pretends to be gentle
and pure.
In the north, sometimes it bluffs,
falling from the sky with rain.
It melts before reaching the ground.
This is the nature of snow –
becoming water when meeting water,
becoming ice when encountering ice.
In the chilly winter of the north
it’s even more chilly than the chill.

Besides the water it dissolves in, it has a worst
enemy, the sun.
Snow may fetter the pace of spring
but the warm sunshine leaves the hypocritical snow
nowhere to hide.

Translated from Chinese from Ming Di and Neil Aitken

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