Night Reddened by Maple Leaves
Tonight the moon shines
in bittersweet luminescence
like a dying lamp. The light clambers
through the thin stretch of road
against the ripples of houses, diffusing
into the windows that are all shut tight.
The street grows a shadow,
one that becomes more vivid, when day
becomes night. An ajuma
sees the street lights hiss, suddenly
shutting out – gone. The woman
follows, turning her lamp off.
And a businessman, who halts his Kia
in front of his house, sees bland dust
winnowing through the street: empty
yet filled with everything it’s made up of.
He recalls a year ago, coming back to a home
that’d make one warm – the smell
of pajeon, softly golden, now
wistful, burnt. He sights a sandpiper
standing on an Aspen branch, probing
at the vastness of Yeonhui-dong
now swallowed by the darkness
almost muted, never slicing
through the silence. Soon, the bird’s wings
begin to flutter, taking off into nothing,
the man now alone. His eyes
trail along the slightly peeled hanji pasted
on the door of his hanok, remembering
the wailing noises of his children
running down Jeungga-ro reddened
by fallen maple leaves.
By Michelle Park
Michelle Park is a 15 year old, high school freshman currently living in the Philippines. Many of her poems are about nature and her memories from her childhood. She loves to eat food, and during her free time, she likes to play soccer, dance, and listen to music.