Tuesday, 12 July 2016

For Us, Life - Jang Jin-sung

Every morning
when I wake
I shake my brother
to and fro – his lungs are weak.

I know that Chul next door
went off to sleep for good.

Whenever mother is late
I tune my ears
to the lightest breeze.
I hold my breath
to count the hours.

I know that our water-lady
cut her own life short.

I know there are many paths in life
but just one choice for us:
to carry on.

Jang Jin-sung (born 1971) North Korea (now lives in South Korea)
Translated by Shirley Lee
Source: Scottish Poetry Library

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