"Spuds" by Moon Chung-hee




In a wide, empty potato field

sat a woman the size of a clay pot.

Hungry from digging potatoes

she sat atop the potato pile

roasting potatoes to eat alone.

From far off a man, like a water deer

bounded over.

I’m chased, I’m chased, hide me, he said.


Potato in hand, hurriedly

the woman gestured below.

The water deer went inside her skirt.

The two became a large clay pot.


Gun in hand a soldier ran over.

Potato in hand, hurriedly

the woman gestured far off.

The soldier disappeared to a far off place

and the ...

Moon Chung-hee is a poet and Endowed Chair Professor at Dongguk University. She has won prestigious awards such as the Sowol Poetry Award, the Chong Chi-Yong Literature Prize, the Mogwol Literature Prize, and Sweden’s Cikada Prize. She has participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. English editions of her books include Windflower, Woman on the Terrace, and I Must Be the Wind.