Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Village Wife 

She wakes up at five
when the sun is about to set
to greet the stars anew,

checks her mobile phone
if she has calls and know
where she’s headed to.

She puts on her make-up,
heavier than yesterday’s
to numb her face,

wears cheap perfume
to hide her scent,
ready for what she has to do.

She dons a pretty dress,
skimpy and tight,
revealing her bosom

for all to see
she’s ready for the picking -
to look fresh and young

even for those who just pass by
not knowing her trade
or what her kind can do.

She goes out on the street
to ply her wares
to tease, cajole, or whatever

her clients tell her to perform.
She can be a nurse, a playmate,
a nanny or anything they fancy.

By early dawn
she could have earned
a dime or two,

or end up as someone’s
punching bag

that’s her fate which
she’s grown accustomed to.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008


Cabbage soaked in salt
and washed only to be bathed
once more with rich chili,
julienned radish and ginger

chopped scallions
and a dash of sugar
to balance the flavors

genuine kimchi at last!

Wrapped in red spicy sauce,
it welcomed me at dinner
as soon as I disembarked
from the plane greeted
by the cold Korean spring night
and the hot bulgogi soup.

My palate sated by flavors
practically unknown to me
like the silver chopsticks
I couldn’t handle well,
skillet atop rounded coals

where my pre-cooked meat
is heated anew. Side dishes that go
with my rice which I wrap
in leaves of mint and something else,
or the cold, tasteless soup that I
thought could have been
for my dirty hands.

But, authentic kimchi at last!

It was there at dinner
when I arrived, then at lunch
and dinner again the second, the third
till the last day!

Alas! I had kimchi with every meal
now that I am home
if someone feeds me that
now, I shall not be amused!

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