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Earning My Keep

Mother,
I think I'll go pay a visit to Hell.
No matter how far away,
I'll set off as if leaving for work in the morning
then come back as if coming off work in the evening.
Don't skip meals, chew your food well before swallowing,
be sure to turn off the gas when you step out,
and don't worry too much about me.
Hell too must be a place where people live,
so if I go to Hell to earn my keep
at last I'll be able to become a human being.

밥값,,from 밥값. © Jeong Ho-seung. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Susan Hwang. All rights reserved.