John St John photo
In his elegant wool coat and a gray
felt hat tilted over his brow is sitting
an old man on a park bench,
an attendant next to him in pink
babushka wrapped around her face.
His pale hands curled over a cane
he watches the girls run by,
their long tresses flying ablaze
in the falling autumn foliage.
As they fly by like migrating birds
his blue eyes tumble into the pond
of remembering young Natasha
he had left in Russia
to marry Anna in America
The autumn light whose memory
of a billion starlets in the Milky ways
it kissed by light years ago now blanched,
lays an oblong shadow behind
his rounded shoulders to lay
its memory there
this autumn day.
The day started like any other day in lower
Manhattan sidewalks, street vendors filling up
the paper cups like vending machines on the go.
On the Staten Island ferry, an old man carrying
a browned shoeshine box teeters up and down
the tipping aisle, shouting, “Shine your shoes!”
As the ferry glides across the New York Harbor
some commuters are hunched over a newspaper,
some catching a snooze sitting like Buddhas.
It was that innocent morning on the eleventh of
of September when the sky split open, shooting up
epic flames from the towers hit by the planes.
Bodies flew like falling leaves out of windows
with molten steel-beams tumbling into mountains
and mountains of mushroom dust cascading down,
people running down from the hell running them
over, then came down building no.7 as if
In that chaos no one witnessed the angels fly down
and scoop up thousands of mangled spirits
and carry them heavenward, heavenward —
Nor did anyone see the Statue of Liberty lowering
the burning torch into her arms, weeping
and weeping —
When the towers were gone, leaving the skyline
hollowed and void, the sun drowned into the ocean,
Born in S. Korea, Therese Young Kim studied English and literature in Kyung Hee University in Seoul and worked at Lufthansa ticketing office before coming to America.
She worked as a professional interpreter for over 25 years in New York while immersing herself in poetry and prose in Korean and English, culminating in her literary fiction, Nayoung’s Journey, now seeking representation.
Excerpts of Nayoung’s Journey have recently been published in Tuck Magazine. Her works have also appeared in Korean literary journals, as well as in Rosebud in two different issues and poems in Tuck Magazine and Poetry Pacific.
Her website address: //yoursentimentalstranger.com/
Her LinkedIn address: //www.linkedin.com/in/therese-young-kim-43a906114
Publication links: //tuckmagazine.com/2017/07/14/fiction-forgotten-story-war/