Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tuesday poem #268 : Kerry Gilbert : untitled [when i lived in kungnung]

when i lived in kungnung—south korea

i was respected because of my ability to teach his son

english—a powerful language to know for a boy


he was kind and polite, but late at night, i would hear him

piss in the street and yell in broken english for her to come

i could hear her weighted steps above me hurry shuffle down

down the steps and in korean say sorry, sorry, sorry


he would smash a bottle against the brick wall

that separated him from me, grab her by the dark hair

and rub her face in the spot on the road where he pissed


then i would hear the weight of her being dragged up

up the steps and in korean she would say sorry, sorry, sorry

and after a short pause i would again hear the chorus of frogs

from the rice field across the street, sing me to sleep


Kerry Gilbert grew up in the Okanagan. She has lived on Vancouver Island, in South Korea, and in Australia. She now lives back in the valley, where she teaches at Okanagan College and raises her three children with her partner. Her first book of poetry, (kerplnk): a verse novel of development, was published in 2005 with Kalamalka Press. Her second book of poetry, Tight Wire, was published in 2016 with Mother Tongue Publishing. Most recently she won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Award for Best Suite by an Emerging Writer 2016/2017. The winning suite is the spine of her next book, Little Red, due to come out with Mother Tongue Publishing in 2019.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

No comments: