My mother tells me her mother was a refugee,
youth rooted in the Korean divide.
She was plucked, an unripe persimmon still green with potential.
When I stare, I fall into wrinkles—she shifts to hide her smile
peony-plump faces were far too frivolous a good for children of war, already yoked—
war-bred dogs jumping at their backs.
Downstream journeys and stolen 김치, the sun rose and my mother was born
in a Korea-minus-its-other-half. She didn’t want to be plucked,
so she ripened in the grip of repentance and morphine, danced under a tree—
and fled on the undertow of a piano.
Now my last name is Medwin, my eyes are not quite crescent moons.
My father has pupils scarred by a premature birth; Jewish hair curled to the tune of
a 21st Century Schizoid Man. Everything my mother’s mother
wanted him not to be.
In this land of unbridled independents, I see children plucked from cookie-cutter homes,
sutured skin keeping them alive. Petals snatched from dahlia unsuspecting.
I roam with imposters spiraling blood on Chanel bags, taste old money
spliced with a curious blue.
엄마, did you ever cry to your mother like this?
will it take playing possum and swimming on seeds of strange fruit
to stay alive?
I’m untouched for now—I can indulge in child’s play:
he loves me, he loves me not, without finding withered remains
staining the bottoms of my pretty pink shoes.
I can tattoo the latest fad into my aura, bathe in sweet sound that heals. In dreams of a stationary existence, I’m free from three-headed want, from
plated-peeling wealth. I bloom—the proof of
dahlia stretching to kiss the moon.
Sara Medwin is a sixteen-year-old poet from Maryland. She enjoys writing journalistically and has contributed to the news source Maryland Matters, but she’s a poet at heart. She firmly believes social media cleanses are the best thing since sliced bread and has an affinity for long, leisurely walks.