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Mud Flats

She lies there with her hugely pregnant body.
At dawn a ship leaves, cutting through her stomach.
As it emerges from her body, headed for the sea,
trailing its umbilical cord,
oh, from within her body forcefully the innocent sun
is driven out and up.
Inside her empty body remain scattered shrouds,
nothing but head-towels women forgot.
Empty cockle shells that become feed for living creatures
become silent, empty midday houses.
A flock of speckled seagulls comes flying,
they force their way inside her body and fight among themselves.
Our mothers bore us
inside warlike bodies.
As evening comes, amniotic fluid bubbles up, the moon rises,
Father returns from far away at sea.

『갯벌: 뜨는 곳에서 해지는 곳까지』© Kim Soo-Bok. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Brother Anthony of Taizé. All rights reserved.