Hadori, Jeju

Michelle Park

Behind the backdoor of our house
                           are leaves and dirt strewn across the garden
we invented as a child, pecks
                           of canola flowers and bushes sprouting unevenly.
Trunks of the palm trees
                           we used to climb dense on the ground, the joints
of its upper half paralyzed.
                           Yesterday I saw cranes hovering downwind past
their shelters, towards Bijarim forest.
                           Mother said it was a simple migration, nothing else.
Now the rocks of Byeolbangjin
                           are peppered in dark gray, the water level caressing it.
A halmoni pounds her back
                           as she stares into a year’s worth of harvest crumbling
before her eyes while the lady
                           that lives across from us picks up a steel pole
that used to be the bones of her house.
                           Today, the pole is heavier. She tears a smile at me,
and throws it out onto the remains
                           of her house. There are scars of white paint on it
scattered without order into thick
                           ashes. Tonight we’ll freeze when the breeze unfolds
into sheer howls or maybe
                           I’ll be at the local gym beside familiar yet lost faces.
When midnight comes I’ll fall asleep
                           on newly opened bed sheets, the smell of rubber as my lullaby.

Michelle Park is a 17 year old junior currently living in the Philippines. Many of her poems are about nature and memories from her childhood. She loves to eat food, and during her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, dancing, and listening to music. Her works have been published or are forthcoming in The Weight Journal, The Rising Phoenix Press, One Art Poetry, and elsewhere.