My Mother on the Lava Cliffs of Jejudo

We grasped those pink plumes
tethered by bamboo. Our fans

opened wide with a flick,
obscured everything we wanted.

A gaggle of delicate-footed girls
huddled together, transformed

into a trembling lotus, eager butterflies,
and shapes we’ve never seen.

All we did was open ourselves
like peonies reaching for light.

Our fluttering hid our parents’ faces
in the crowd. Their pure girls on stage,

hanbok skirting the floor,
a twirl, sliver of white sock,

white shoe, a wave of seafoam
rolling against a lifeless beach.

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