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The Korean singer Lee Juck wrote the below…

The Korean singer Lee Juck wrote the below poem when he was in Junior High. Apparently he was a good kid who always bought birthday presents for his mom using the allowance money he received. (What! I never did that!) This one birthday however, he had spent up all his allowance, and he didn’t have anything for his mom.. so he wrote this poem, hoping that it would cover up his reproachable behavior(?). The poem made mom cry, and it ended up in her book later.

엄마의 하루
이동준

습한 얼굴로
AM 6:00이면 시계같이 일어나
쌀을 씻고
밥을 지어
호돌이 보온 도시락통에 정성껏 싸
장대한 아들과 남편을 보내 놓고
조용히 허무하다.

따르릉 전화 소리에
제2의 아침이 시작되고
줄곧 바
책상머리에 앉아
고요의 시간은
읽고 쓰는데
또 읽고 쓰는 데 바쳐
오른쪽 눈이 빠져라
세라믹펜이 무거워라

지친 듯 무서운 얼굴이
돌아온 아들의 짜증과 함께
다시 씽크대 앞에 선다.

밥을 짓다
설거지를 하다
방바닥을 닦다
두부 사오라 거절하는 아들의 말에
이게 뭐냐고 무심히 말하는
남편의 말에,
주저앉아 흘리는 고통의 눈물에
언 동태가 녹고
아들의 찬 손이 녹고

정작 하루가 지나면
정작 당신은
또 엄마를 잘못 만나서를 되뇌시며
슬퍼하는

슬며시 실리는
당신의 글을 부끄러워하며
따끈히 끓이는
된장찌개의 맛을 부끄러워하며

오늘 또
엄마를 잘못 만나서를
무심한 아들들에게
되뇌이는

‘강철 여인’이 아닌
‘사랑 여인’에게
다시 하루가 길다.

A day in my mom’s life
Dong Joon Lee (Juck Lee)

Her expression still moisty
getting up like a clock at the beat of the LED “AM 6:00”
washing rice
making rice
wrapping it up in the thermal box with little 1988 olympics tiger stickers
sending away the son (who is enormous now) and the husband
and sitting still in silent hollowness.

The phone ringing signals
round two of the morning cycle
and she sits
at the edge of the dining table
a time of solitude
in reading and writing
and more reading and writing
“my right eye is sore”
“the ceramic pan feels heavy”

A face that may look tired, or may look scary
stands against the kitchen table
with a bratty son who is now back home.

Making rice
washing dishes
mopping the floor
“go get me some tofu” but son refuses,
at the husband’s disinterested question,
“what’s wrong with dinner?”
fallen to the ground, crying in pain,
tears melt the frozen fish
tears melt the sons’s cold hands

Instead, when a day is past,
instead, you
murmur again “i’m so sorry, you have met the wrong mom”
saddening

Silently embarrassed of
your writings, furtively getting published,
embarrassed of
the flavor of the 된장(miso) soup

Today again
“wrong mom, so sorry”
murmuring to your
careless sons

To the mom who is not a “woman of steel”
but rather a “woman of love”
the day drags along yet again