Looking at a Yi Dynasty Rice Bowl

Suji Kwock Kim

after So Chongju


Seeing this plain
white clay —

white laundry slung
on a line in my lot.

Rough hemp,
shirt and trousers

I must leave
unfolded forever.

Like my brother taken
north during the war,

clothes hanging
like a brother

who will never
come back,

I am finally ready
to have as they are —

Suji Kwock Kim is the author of the poetry collections Notes from the North and Notes from the Divided Country, which won the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award.
Originally published:
January 1, 2002

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