Thursday, January 1, 2015

sneeze. han-gang. christmas day.

what would I give to cross the han once more
in a half empty bus on christmas day
yeoido bridge
over december currents resisting freeze

can I hear once more
the polite recorded voice
calling out the bus stops
until I memorize the route

can I stand at the back door again
swaying with the traffic flow
as my weight shifts through the small bones of my feet

let me walk home one more time
leaning backward as I walk downhill
while children tip forward on the balls of their feet
to run past me

let me step stocking feet onto warmed floor
sit with rice and soup and barley tea

this land where I was born
this land which I left
may I return with the imaginary ashes
of my long-buried mother

set an ancestral table and burn incense
to send her spirit down han-gang
and up to mountainside pines

may I see her face once more
the mother who abandoned me
the mother I return to
in the embrace of the vinyl bus seat

on christmas day