The House Darkness Has Swallowed
A man rises from his front porch. It is the last day
of autumn, and he hopes that the crops don’t
freeze. Darkness engulfs the house. The wind
crawls down onto the stone linings of the giwa.
He moves from room to room, every door he passes
is a hand around his heart. Looking out the window,
he can already see himself leaving. He walks out onto
his front porch one last time. Chalked over the sky
above, the whirling cosmos disappears behind the
horizon. Above, moonlight burns the white clouds
black as he watches the last blues fading on the waves.
Looking out onto the miniature Dol-hareubangs his
grandchildren used to play with, he sees them chasing
butterflies along the picket fenced flowered path. Strings
of sunlight scattered across their messy hair, their soft
breathing filling the air. His gaze shifts to the endless
fields of crops, where he spent decades. He walks
towards the Sehwa bus station, just as the first snowflakes
spiral down onto the ground. He thinks distance is a stone
buried underwater. The gravel floats up for years.
Photographs from Panmunjom
Memories are the ground of the Panmunjom, buried
still. Snapshots are images that we grasp on to – what
we remember in some way protects us. You are standing
behind the glass window, looking out onto the blue houses
and brick linings. Tall and straight with their emotionless
gazes, soldiers with dark green and grey guarded
the no man’s land, DMZ. Behind you, the sky floats,
endlessly stretching in the dome above, only to be
caught by the light. Sprinting across the field, you look
back, and see bullets pierce through bodies of soldiers.
The tall grass buries your legs, a lifeless figure dropping
behind you. Gray clouds dangle from the dark sky, while
fog rolls onto the hollow valleys of Paju. In all directions
dirt is thrusted, grey wisps of smoke rise up and disperse
in the dusted clouds above. Your frozen face is stern
and your arm is frozen in mid air, waving a ‘V’. You will
not know how your life presses against this moment.
Junwoo (William) Park is a 13-year-old, 8th grader currently attending International School Manila in the Philippines. He enjoys writing poems about nature and unexplored topics. During his free time, he enjoys playing football with his friends and likes to read.