"Song of Peace" by Hwang Tong-gyu

Song of Peace

 

 

I’m told

we are a puny race.

Doors locked even in daytime,

bathing our eyes with “Trust Drops,”

we read light essays, hugging the stove.

Dragging the anguish of no place to hide

like a soldier with one or two chevrons on the arm,

you travel the country from Kimhae to Hwachon,*

winter fatigues hanging on you,

a canteen flapping at your side.

 

Wherever you turn, barbed wire,

at every wire, a checkpoint.

I do not understand this love,

this smothering jealous love.

 

I spread my gloved hands, palms up.

Snow falling for some time now,

a snow colder than snow.

 

 

*From Kimhae to Hwachon: from the southernmost part to the northernmost part of South Korea.