Doeun (Jessica) Kim is a 14 year old, born in South Korea and currently studying at the International School of Manila. Her work has been recognised by The Heritage Review and Austin Poets International. She enjoys writing flash fiction in her spare time, inspired by her culture and identity. She loves modern ballet and making pancakes.
How to Nurse a Wound
Courage is not made of bullets .
It could be the spring
but instead, it’s the sweltering summer.
I could say that the wound
on my knee came from falling
at my grandmother’s backyard,
along the array of flowers placed in pots
which are painted in a royal blue.
The overgrown shrubs stand
on the field of grass
as I crouch down, because I am scared
of the dragonflies.
I say this, while I think about the boys
in Korean school,
telling the girls to lose weight.
The unspoken consensus
that make the women cry,
not because they are weak.
It is like the mother cradling a baby
on a wooden swing,
waiting for her drunk husband
to come home.
The girl peels tangerines on the countertop
in the kitchen.
Her mother and grandmother
sit in front of the TV,
eyes closed and hands held together,
following the prayers from the priests.
The girl doesn’t listen to the television
but looks out the window.
The Seocho neighborhood is empty,
only wafts of mist hover above it.
The grey streets are quiet,
an unfamiliar lull.
Shadows linger around the mannequins
in shops and empty chairs in cafes.
She recalls going outside,
the warm restaurants brimming with people,
lights from tall office buildings
and lamps from street food vendors that sold fishcakes
brighten the city.
Tourists held shopping bags
and wove through cars,
people left bars drunk.
The prayer ends and the girl
eats the wedges of the tangerine,
savouring the relief and the absence